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To mark the launch of Blackpool Fylde and Wyre branch of the Variety Club balloons were launched from North Pier.'200 red balloons head into the evening sky.  PIC BY ROB  LOCK'29-3-2012

To mark the launch of Blackpool Fylde and Wyre branch of the Variety Club balloons were launched from North Pier.'200 red balloons head into the evening sky. PIC BY ROB LOCK'29-3-2012

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The newly formed Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde sub-committee of Variety: the Children’s Charity, has been officially launched with the release of 200 red heart shaped balloons from North Pier.

Additional gold balloons were launched in memory of the late Frank Carson and Pat Mancini – both formerly tireless fund raisers for charity.

Chairman, Fiona Whitworth said: “The charity is probably more familiar to most people as the Variety Club of Great Britain.

“Well, the name may have changed but the purpose remains the same – to help the children most at need in the community, and with the formation of this new sub-committee we can ensure that help is directed into the heart of our own community, improving the lives of children we know.”

Among the guests at the launch was Catherine Dellow, head at Red Marsh School for pupils with severe and profound learning difficulties, which in 2010 was presented with a Sunshine coach following a joint fund raising venture between the North West region of Variety and the Gazette.

Catherine said: “The benefits of having a specially adapted minibus are enormous to a school like ours, as it enables our pupils and students to take their learning from the classroom into the community.”

But it isn’t all about Sunshine coaches, as Fiona explained.

“Sometimes it’s the smallest change that can make the biggest difference. It may simply be a specially adapted car seat costing a few hundred pounds that can change the lives of a family instantly, and I know that in tough financial times such as now, it isn’t always easy to be as generous with our money and time as we would like to be.

“ But this is how coming together as a community can make a difference.”

Having now been officially launched, the committee is working on it first major fund raising event – a gala evening honouring impressionist Jon Culshaw with an appreciation award at the Imperial Hotel on Friday September 21.

“Each and every penny raised by and on behalf of the new Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde sub-committee will be spent on directly benefiting those children in our community who most desperately need the help of the charity,” she said.

n For more information on Variety: the Children’s Charity call (0161) 236 0500.