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Grants FOCUS ON GRANTS LOCAL


The site of the MUGA, which will benefit the whole village


‘WE SECURED £60,000 IN LOCAL GRANTS TOWARDS A MUGA THAT WILL BENEFIT OUR WHOLE VILLAGE’


O


ur school has a lovely fi eld, but it’s often waterlogged. This results in cancelled matches, less space for


play and unhappy pupils. Uneven Tarmac on the netball court makes games diffi cult and risks injury. The idea of a multi-use games area


(MUGA) had been mooted by a previous PTA and head, and I decided to help make it happen. I joined forces with a friend, Vicki Nullis, and we created a new PTA committee with fi ve other parents. I also formed a separate group with three other parents to concentrate on applying for grants, fi nding the right contractor and applying for planning. The estimated cost of a MUGA


with a netball court and hockey quicksticks pitch inside a mini- soccer pitch was £125,000. It was a lot, but we decided to try. The fi rst thing we did was improve


communications. The PTA had a Facebook and Twitter account, but neither were being used to their full effect. Vicki transformed our communications channels and recruited another parent to run an Instagram account. Now, nearly all our supporters follow us on one of our social media platforms, and


everyone knows what we’re up to. Our class reps use WhatsApp groups to spread the word at ground level. In 2019, we planned a packed events


calendar, grant applications and a community appeal. We held a fi rework display, fi lm nights, school discos and a Bag2School collection. We also hosted a sellout quiz for adults, which created a buzz around the PTA and helped us make connections. A parent on the committee is a


charity bid-writer, so she helped source grants and make applications. The PTA also had a contact at a grant-giving trust who put us in touch with other funders. There was such a feeling of optimism, but our efforts came to an abrupt end because of Covid. When the children went back to


school in September 2020, we began fundraising again in earnest. We held as many events as possible within Covid restrictions, including an annual bales race and a Christmas hamper raffl e. We also launched the


‘The parish council ran an article and donations came in from across the community’


community appeal. The parish council ran an article in its newsletter and donations came in from across the community. Some donors had attended the school themselves or had children who were past pupils. The appeal raised over £30,000. As part of our funding bids, it was


important to demonstrate how the MUGA would benefi t the wider community. Alderley Edge Hockey Club described how it would be able to set up disability hockey sessions. Alderley United FC said having access to MUGA training facilities would benefi t over 300 children who play for the club. We also included details of the benefi ts for local guiding, scouting and holiday clubs. By April 2021, we’d secured a


£5,000 grant from the parish council and received another £5,000 from The Beech Hall Trust. In May, we put together a big funding application to the local Alderley Edge Institute Trust. We presented our case for funding, and the following day we learned we’d been awarded almost £50,000, taking our fundraising total up to £125,000. We’d done it! Anna Baker, chair, Alderley Edge Community Primary School PTA Alderley Edge, Cheshire (210 pupils)


FundEd AUTUMN 2021 47


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