A much-needed change of gear for Mackay District Special School

There is no stopping the students at Mackay District Special School, thanks to the support of Variety and a $3,000 Stanmore Isaac Plains Community Grant, which contributed to the purchase of 11 new bikes, and a supply of helmets, tyre pumps and bike locks for budding bike riders.

The grant, applied for by Variety Queensland, was secured last year, but due to COVID-19 the school has only recently received their bikes and equipment from local courier PACK & SEND, which kindly offered its delivery services for free.

Variety is a charity that supports kids who are sick, disadvantaged or live with a disability, and builds strong, ongoing relationships with schools throughout Queensland to identify their needs and source funding.  

Variety Partnerships Manager Nikki Porter said without funding from corporate organisations like Stanmore, families often go without.

“In the absence of government funding, community grants are absolutely vital to what we do at Variety and it’s how we can continue to help local schools,” she said.

“Visiting Mackay District Special School was a fantastic and rewarding experience — understanding the needs of its 86 kids and learning how best we can support them.

“Importantly, the school’s bike riding program offers students the opportunity to gain confidence, freedom and to feel like every other kid.

“The kids are usually always accompanied by a carer or a parent, but when they are riding the bikes, they are doing it themselves. They loved receiving the new bikes, and particularly enjoyed the different colours,” she said.