MANAGING YOUR PTA – Boosting support

Anne Robb, PTFA member (61)

‘I joined the PTFA at my grandson’s school in 2012. I had been on the PTA for 15 years with my own children and enjoyed helping out, so was happy to get involved again. I love to sew, so helped to fi ll stalls with crafts to sell, and also baked cakes for events. I never took on any offi cial position,

leaving those to members who preferred an organisational role over a practical one. Hands-on jobs during events are just as important as the offi cer positions, and are often the roles that are hardest to fi ll. Getting stuck in with helping set up rooms for

events, tidying up afterwards, and doing the washing up are all crucial to a successful fundraiser. As my husband had dementia I wasn’t able to take on as much as a grandparent as I did as a parent, but because I couldn’t leave him at home alone, he helped out too. I was proud to have my husband by my side. He loved being with the children, and they loved him too. It was really special for him to spend time with our grandson, as he’d missed out on that side of things with our own children due to work. I think a lot

of grandfathers would love to help out in their grandchildren’s schools for a chance to experience what they missed out on as parents. I enjoyed the fact that I was helping

to benefi t not just my grandson, but everyone within the school. I made lots of new friends. I would recommend that other grandparents get involved with the PTA, as it gives you something to do and a chance to make new friends.’ Anne Robb, former PTFA member, St Andrew’s C of E Infant School, Leyland, Lancs (210 pupils)

Joan Cresswell, PTFA member (71)

‘When my grandson started school in 2014, my daughter Catherine mentioned that she wanted to go to a PTA meeting, and I said I’d go along with her. I enjoyed it so much that the PTA constitution was changed to that of a PTFA, just so I could join! Being on the committee keeps me

Mary (69) and Kevin (70) Johnson, PTFA members

‘Mary and Kevin are two hugely valuable grandparents who have been on our committee since it was set up fi ve years ago. Both are retired, meaning they have more fl exibility and are able to utilise the time other members of our committee spend at work. They have been involved in a range of events, including Christmas and summer fairs, talent shows, Easter events, bake-off competitions, fashion shows and fi lm nights. They organise refreshments

for all events, from teas and coffees to full meals. Kevin is Father Christmas at our fair, which is a role he takes great pride in, as he loves making it an amazing experience for the children. With an engineering background and DIY as a hobby, Kevin builds the grotto and has

24 SUMMER 2018

turned lots of our ideas into a reality, including a crazy golf game and tin can alley stand. Our grandparents will do

anything and everything that is needed prior, during and after the event, including thinking up ideas, making games, running stalls, organising helpers, fi nding raffl e prizes and counting and banking cash. So far they have helped us to pay for iPads, outdoor play equipment, sports equipment and games, as well as given the whole school the opportunity to visit the pantomime. Their experience, knowledge and time is so important to us, and we wouldn’t be able to run events without them.’ Sarah Williams, PTFA Secretary, Flanderwell Primary School, Rotherham (320 pupils)

young. If you get involved and stay active, you won’t feel your age. I always throw myself into fundraising events. On the day of our Christmas fair I catered for our breakfast with Santa, afternoon tea with Santa and then cooked turkey all night. We have a fantastic committee, now chaired by my daughter, where new ideas are always welcome. Everyone loved my suggestion of a fashion show, and we pulled it off to raise over £500! Our PTFA has contributed to the

playground renovation as well as sports kits, and we often pay for coaches when the children go on trips. We do everything we can to help the children grow into considerate and sensible adults. Taking part in the PTFA helps me to

forget my aches and pains. I had breast cancer two years ago, but the PTFA gave me something else to focus on. Truthfully, I wouldn’t know what to do without our school. If my daughter gave it up, I would keep going without her! Older people have so much to give and so many ways in which they can help. My youngest grandson is joining in September, so I’ll be continuing to volunteer for many years to come.’ Joan Cresswell, PTFA Member, Bhylls Acre Primary School, Castlecroft, Wolverhampton (206 pupils)

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