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● Topical fundraising ideas, the latest news, and prizes to be won Agenda


Bonfi re night ‘Our local town of Lewes has a long tradition of bonfi re celebrations. Every year, on 5 November, the Lewes Bonfi re Societies parade through the medieval streets carrying burning torches and effi gies, and throwing fi recrackers. But this is not really aimed at children, so our PTFA holds its own fi rework celebration, which is our biggest fundraiser of the year. We’re in safe hands – the Nevill Juvenile Bonfi re


Society provides the fi reworks and oversees the display. We book the date a year in advance and they check our site (a fi eld next to the school) beforehand. We have to inform the fi re service, perform a risk assessment and ensure enough qualifi ed fi rst aiders attend. For last year’s fi reworks, the head agreed we could


build a bonfi re on the school fi eld, and our Year 5 teacher ran guy-making sessions during reward time. A group of dads built the bonfi re the weekend before, using wood donated by a local resident and a nearby farm. We started with quiet fi reworks for the younger


children at 5:30pm and held the main show at 6:15pm. The timings encouraged people to buy food and we offered hotdogs, burgers and halloumi burgers. We sold beer from our local brewery, as well as wine, soft drinks, hot drinks and sweet treats. The school choir sang to entertain guests. Because of the high costs of running the event we


needed to attract lots of people from outside the school community, so we put fl yers and posters everywhere, from book bags to the Lewes tourist offi ce. Banners were placed outside the school and we promoted the event heavily on local social media groups. We charged £6 for adults and £4 for children and raised each price by £1 on the night. Several local businesses sponsored us in return for an advert in the programme and mentions on the PA throughout the night. To increase profi ts, we sold glowsticks, fl ashing


necklaces and bracelets. We held a raffl e and tasked each committee member with sourcing two prizes. It was a lovely clear night and 700 people came


along. The event made £3,900, which will go towards the cost of a new playground.’ Carol Rogerson, PTFA member, Iford and Kingston CofE School, Lewes, East Sussex (200 pupils)


pta.co.uk AUTUMN 2019 7


IMAGES: CAROL ROGERSON, NATHAN HILL


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