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Agenda


How two PTAs discovered that by making the most of their volunteers’ skills they could reap greater rewards


STRENGTHS Play to your


D


uring the pandemic, it has become more important than ever for PTAs to adapt and be enterprising in order


to succeed. You already know your PTA volunteers are amazing: hardworking, resourceful and energetic, but is there more to them than meets the eye? Have they been hiding a specialist skill that you could tap into to create something unique and help raise funds?


‘Our creative team raised over £7,000 during lockdown!’


The Friends of Halsford Park School (in East Grinstead, West Sussex) has always attracted creative people, and recent school fairs have featured a stall selling handmade items created and donated by talented parents. Secretary Sarah Everson explains how they harnessed this creativity and put it to good use during lockdown. Reusable masks: ‘Last May, a grandparent of children at our school approached me with an offer to make reusable face masks in aid of our charity. The chair thought this was a great idea, and agreed to look after the admin, advertise the masks on Facebook and arrange distribution. After a few weeks, we became known as the local PTA who were making masks. I joined four other parents, another grandparent and an ex-pupil in the sewing effort. We started off making one standard size of face covering, but as demand grew we increased our range and now offer masks in sizes from pre-school to extra-large. We were given donations of fabric, so our costs were low, and we were able to offer the masks for a suggested donation (of £4), which most people paid by bank transfer. Demand was so overwhelming we lost track of how many masks we made, but as of November 2020, we had raised £6,800!’ School photos: ‘When I saw the date on the calendar for school class photos during lockdown, I realised we were going to miss out this year. Most children weren’t in school, and those who were there wouldn’t be able to gather together for a photo. I suggested to our chair and graphic designer that we invite parents to submit photos of their children (in school uniform), and we would compile ‘lockdown school photos’ for each class. We set up a consent form on Google Forms and a Dropbox with folders for each class’s images. Although there were a few teething problems uploading photos, in the end more than 70% of the children had their photo submitted. All the teachers and TAs sent in pictures too. Our designer worked her magic, and we posted proofs on our private Facebook group and offered prints for sale via PTA Events. In total, we raised £887.’


pta.co.uk SPRING 2021 11


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