FUNDRAISING – Tried and tested

Inspirational event ideas

Get your fundraising year off to a flying start with help from these PTA success stories

Bake-off competitions

‘We’ve been running bake-off competitions for around four years. We hold four each year, one per year group. We choose a theme, either something seasonal such as Valentine’s day or bonfire night, or something related to what the children are learning in school, for example a country they are studying. The children receive a flyer inviting

them to enter small cakes or biscuits, as these are easier to sell. There is no cost to enter as people are already donating their ingredients and time to make the cakes, so the profit comes from the cake sales. We usually receive around 20 entries, which we find is a sufficient number for the sale. Cakes are judged by school staff

in the afternoon. The relevant year group then comes into the hall for the awarding of the prizes, where the judge will give their verdict on all entries and the overall winner is awarded a “star baker” apron or a book voucher. All the children who enter get a bag of sweets as a thank you. The cakes go on sale after school to

the whole school community. We usually raise about £120, which goes into our central pot. The children really enjoy taking part, and it doesn’t require a lot of organisation or volunteers.’ Elizabeth Tucker, PTA chair, St Nicolas E Junior School, Newbury, Berkshire (256 pupils)

40 AUTUMN 2019 Sponsored gallop

‘Cheltenham is world famous for The Festival, a four-day horse jump- racing festival, which inspired us to create our ‘sponsored gallop’ seven years ago. This annual event coincides with the festival and consists of an obstacle course on our school field. It is simple and cheap to set up, promotes exercise, and is huge fun for the children. Preparations start one month

before the event: we order stickers, buy refreshments, organise helpers, check equipment and get staff to complete a running order. Our only costs are £40 for squash, biscuits and stickers, as all the equipment belongs to the PE department. To sponsor a child, supporters can

complete a sponsorship form and post it in the PTA postbox with a cheque or cash, or they can donate online. We encourage people to add Gift Aid when they can. The event is held on two separate mornings: one for infants and one for juniors. The obstacle course is made using hurdles, rope ladders and hula-hoops, plus a water jump

(being splashed with water!). Each jump has been given a name inspired by the teachers, including Harford Hurdle, Price’s Peak and Hobbs’ Hedge. Children come to school in their PE kit, and each year group has a half-hour slot, which includes a five-minute musical warm-up led by a PTA volunteer and a simple explanation of what to do. They then complete the gallop. Infants run five laps and juniors run as many laps as they can in 15 minutes. Afterwards, there is a ten-minute refreshment break and pupils are awarded a sticker and thanked for taking part. There are no winners – the emphasis is on enjoyment and taking part. The event requires around eight

to ten volunteers. As the event is held during the school day, the only way to see your child take part is to volunteer to help, so this really encourages uptake. In 2019 we made a staggering £1,725.94!’ Nathalie Dawson, PTA secretary, St James’ CofE School, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (420 pupils)

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