Advice on initiatives and opportunities for generating funds Fundraising

‘We opened up our recycling collection to the community’

‘Following a recommendation from a parent at our school, we had been using Happy School Bag clothing recycling collections successfully for a number of years. They collect any men’s, women’s and children’s clothing that would ordinarily end up in landfi ll, as long as it’s in good, clean and reusable condition. They also accept shoes and accessories such as handbags, scarves, hats, belts and jewellery. Unlike some recycling companies, Happy School Bag also take old console games, souvenirs and unused gift sets. We get paid per kilo and it has always been a worthwhile fundraiser for us, as well as helping our supporters recycle. We had been holding three collections a year. Given the situation with Covid last

year, fundraising was diffi cult as most of our planned activities involved face-to-face events. So we felt it was really important to maximise any activities we were actually able to run. By July, the community had been in lockdown for months, and many people had been busy doing big clear-outs. We thought this might present an extra fundraising opportunity. We have a shelter on the school site where we normally ask parents to drop their bags off. Because of Covid, our headteacher was understandably nervous about people congregating in that

area – it’s a main thoroughfare for the school. This meant we had to come up with a more socially distanced way to organise the collection. Happily, the school and PTA have good relationships with The Lantern St Mary’s church next to the school. It has a huge green area outside, which the vicar kindly agreed to let us use as a safe drop-off point for donations. Using the green meant the wider community could also get involved. We used a combination of tactics to encourage friends, family and

neighbours to donate. This included social media, our school app

Classlist and posters around the school premises.

On the day, our chair was on hand to answer

any questions and supervise drop-offs. The collection was a huge success and we raised an

incredible £1,240, which is three times our normal total! The money will go towards a number

of school improvements that we have already committed to fundraise for. Projects include new school lockers and replacement books for the library. A Burford parent who teaches at

a different school asked if we might also be able to collect unwanted football boots at the same time. The community donated 11 pairs in total, and these were passed on to a new school team at her school. Opening up our recycling collection

to the local community provided a real boost to our fundraising and is something we will defi nitely repeat. In terms of timing, holding our collection straight after a lockdown certainly helped!’ Carrie Pitt, vice chair, Friends of Burford School, Marlow Bottom, Buckinghamshire (400 pupils) SPRING 2021 35


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