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Partnerships


‘OUR TEA DANCE UNITED THE COMMUNITY’


‘The aim of our tea dance was to engage with grandparents and older people in the wider community. Tickets were free and we ran the dance from 4-6pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Local businesses and organisations embraced the idea of bringing young and old together, and couldn’t have been more generous. The entertainment was led by instructors from local dance company A&J Dancing, who brought along 24 of their existing customers, so we were guaranteed a packed dance floor. Through Mid Sussex District


Council’s ‘Silver Sundays’ fund, we secured £216 towards catering and to purchase masonry hooks and wires for atmospheric festoon lighting. Retirement Villages UK gave us £250 towards food, and also sent a professional photographer. Our local Waitrose provided cakes, biscuits and refreshments.


The finishing touches make all the


difference. The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Felbridge lent tablecloths and cake stands, and our KS3 secretary created beautiful fresh flower arrangements in decorated jam jars. Each table had menu cards with allergen information and A4 envelopes inviting voluntary donations to our School Fund (this raised an incredible £187). We promoted the event in emails


to parents, flyers at parents’ evenings and through social media. Our school is a member of the East Grinstead Dementia Action Alliance, and I gave flyers to fellow members, including Age UK, Carers Support, churches and GP surgeries. Guests booked via email and we had a fantastic turnout of around 50 people. Among the guests were a former student who started at the school in 1939, and two who were here in the 1960s and 1970s! A group of Year 9 students came


along to help – we assigned a pair of students to each table, giving them name stickers, cards and a pen for taking orders. The atmosphere was incredible and the students, while nervous at first, soon fell into the swing of taking drinks orders and waiting on tables. They even took to the dance floor for a quick “lesson”, alongside staff and guests. The feedback we received was hugely


complimentary: “Everything was perfect”, and “The students were charming and interested and a credit to the school”. The event provided a fabulous volunteering opportunity for students, and it was hugely rewarding to bring young and old together for an activity that spans the generations. Keep dancing!’ Nikki Burch, former fundraising and partnerships manager at Imberhorne School, East Grinstead, West Sussex (1,650 pupils)


FundEd SPRING 2020 41


PHOTO: RUSSELL HARPER


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