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Movie-inspired car rally event funds Sudbury school bus

A Sudbury school for children with learning difficulties has received a significant boost, after two charities teamed up to donate a new bus, following a car rally fundraiser inspired by a classic film.

Staff and pupils at Hillside Special School in Hitchcock Place were celebrating last week, as they were presented with a specially-adapted Sunshine Coach, provided by the children’s charity Variety and paid for with money raised during a sponsored drive, called The Italian Job.

The rally sees drivers complete a 1,500-mile journey across Italy, travelling in vehicles from the 1969 film of the same name, to raise funds in support of children’s organisations.

Founders Freddie St George and Giulia St George handed over the keys for the new coach last Tuesday to Michelle Kelly, the headteacher at Hillside Special School, which educates pupils of all ages.

Ms Kelly explained the bus would have a positive impact on its students, who frequently struggle to travel outside of school.

“We are absolutely thrilled with our new bus,” she said.

“It means we can really make a difference to the lives of our children and young people, some of whom have life-limiting conditions, as they can learn skills in the community that they can take with them into the future.

“We would like to thank Variety and everyone involved with The Italian Job for their support of Hillside.

“Without them, many pupils would not be able to actually leave the site and get into the community.”

Mr St George, who set up The Italian Job in 1989, added: “We are truly delighted to see the fruits of our fundraising in the form of this coach for Hillside Special School.”

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