EVENTS – Doing things differently

Bingo: Ask players to print randomly generated cards from a website such as Use an app to generate the numbers when calling. For a twist, how about music bingo? Instead of numbers, email out cards with song titles. Play 15 seconds of each song. Players tick off a song when they hear it, and the fi rst person to get a line or house wins.

Quiz: Create multiple rounds incorporating pictures, songs and even riddles. Players keep track of their answers and mark themselves at the end. If you’re concerned about cheating, offer a prize for something that’s diffi cult to Google, such as the number of sweets in a jar or a teacher’s favourite band.

Disco: Make a playlist of popular tunes to play through your device to everyone in the call. Mute the kids so they can hear the music and dance along while seeing their friends. Ask everyone to wear bright colours and add some classic party games for variety.

Art trail: Ask children to make art around a theme, such as favourite authors or awesome autumn. It can be anything that can be displayed in their window, from drawings to sculptures. Produce a map for families to follow and share photos on social media for anyone who can’t visit the trail in person.

Christmas plans Wreath-making evening: Find a crafty parent or professional fl orist who’s willing to hold a virtual workshop. Send out kits in advance.

Christmas tree sales: Link up with a local Christmas tree seller, taking a percentage for the PTA in exchange for securing sales.

Christmas hampers: If requesting donations, make sure everyone is aware of the deadline and ask if items can be left untouched in the school for a few days. Ask local companies to donate in exchange for publicity. Collect items together in themed hampers and use as raffl e prizes.

44 AUTUMN 2020

Distanced events While external access to the school and larger gatherings are limited, face-to-face events may not be possible for a while yet. Speak to the school about what they are comfortable with and what might be possible. In time, you may be able to hold an event for each bubble of children at your school or an outdoor family event with marked out plots where each family or bubble can sit together. To keep everyone safe, provide

hand sanitiser and ensure toilets are cleaned between uses. If it isn’t possible to hold events at the school, is there an alternative outside venue that you could hire?

‘Our virtual gin-tasting night raised £700!’

‘Instead of cancelling our PTA gin- tasting night, we decided to hold it virtually. We posted a poll on our Facebook page to gauge interest and decided to make up 50 boxes containing enough gin and tonic for fi ve drinks, plus snacks. We only included craft gins, because we felt it needed to be brands people couldn’t fi nd locally or in supermarkets. I started researching the types

of gin by asking questions on some gin forums. I got chatting to a lot of people and secured some impressive deals and help from distilleries,

including a donation of 50 miniatures. I’m a member of Craft Gin Club and was able to take advantage of its offers too. I also referred some PTA members, who each bought a box at an introductory price. The most we paid for a bottle was £20. We bought two bottles of each

of our fi ve chosen gins. Each 70cl bottle contained 28 servings, so we decanted them into 25ml measures using sterilised bottles purchased from Ampulla. I contacted a tonic brand, which offered us a great deal, and we ordered snacks from Snack Revolution and Candy Kittens. Each box cost £10 to put together, and we paid £21 for a TEN. Participants paid £20 for each box, and I left the boxes in my garage so people could collect them on their daily walks. We posted information about each

drink on our Facebook page, and the boxes included instructions on how to prepare each drink, plus a reveal of each brand’s name for after the tasting. Some people got together in groups on Zoom, while others took part with their partner. We raised £700 and still had a fantastic gin night!’ Kate Horrey, fundraising team co-chair, Katherine Semar School, Saffron Walden, Essex (480 pupils)

Charging for events For some families, this is a diffi cult time fi nancially. Set a suggested donation for your event so people can give what they can, and make it clear that fi nancial hardship won’t exclude anyone from participating. Could a local business sponsor your event? If you are selling tickets for events where circumstances may change, write a clear policy demonstrating what will happen if the event is postponed or cancelled. Remind parents of the important

role your PTA plays in the school community. Funding gaps are more acute now than ever before, and some parents may even be persuaded to give more as a result.


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