School fundraising: From celebrity gigs to cross-country races

How one school hit the high notes with its musical fundraiser and another hosted a muddy fun run

‘Our Myddle Muddle Fun Run is a community highlight’

Beginning in 2012, our multi-terrain country race has been held annually as a fundraiser for Myddle Primary School – and has become a popular spring running event in north Shropshire. What started as a fancy dress fun run, organised by then PTA members Rachel Smith and Val Everall as a way to raise funds for school supplies, has since become our key fundraiser. It attracts a large following, with runners now competing over 10K, 5K or one-mile distances on a circular course.

Last year, more than 300 people took part and we raised more than £2,800. This year we’re raising money for playground improvements. Entry fees range from £2 for the one-mile run to £15 for the 10K (or £3 and £20 respectively for entry on the day).

People love the run because it goes across fields, along lanes, over hilltops and through pine and oak woodland and it has a brilliant community atmosphere. It’s very relaxed and there’s no pressure to run the whole way – you can run, jog, walk or crawl. Fancy dress is encouraged on the one-mile fun run – the shorter distance is a great way for younger or less confident runners to get involved. It passes fields of alpaca, horses, cows and the legendary Myddle ‘castle’. Anyone under 12 can join the 5K event if accompanied by an adult.

Everyone who completes their run is awarded a medal. Prizes are awarded to the top three finishers in each event. We also sell cake and refreshments at the end.

We’re always on the lookout for local businesses who want to get behind the event with sponsorship. It is purely volunteer-powered and marshalled by members of the PTA, parents and locals, so all support is welcome. We advertise the run-up to the event widely on social media – the race actually has its own website,, as well as Facebook and Instagram pages.

  • Rebecca Sparks, Friends of Myddle Primary School and Nursery PTA member and race director for 2024

‘We raised more than £1,000 from a fundraising gig’

We are currently running a funding appeal to help us raise £2,000 for a sensory room at our secondary school – and wanted to try something different. One of our teachers (Michelle) reached out on social media to a couple of musicians she liked – Mark Morriss, who lives in Sussex and is best known as the frontman for The Bluetones, and London-based Fyfe Dangerfield, the founding member of indie rock band Guillemots. Both responded, and agreed to play for free.

As soon as a date was agreed, we began looking for a special venue that would appeal to a wide audience. We found a local community church which often hosts concerts, has its own café area and has recently been refurbished. Our Friends of Priory PTA helped us run the refreshments and organised the licence. Brighton-based Infinity Foods donated about £150 of chocolate and crisps and we put tickets on sale using an online booking site. Michelle spent hours putting up posters in cafés and shops, and we also used social media to spread the word.

The venue was beautiful and the acoustics were spot on. Mark Morriss started the show with a 45-minute set, mixing new material along with some well-known Bluetones tracks. This was followed by Suzi Payton, a neurodivergent coach and comedian from Brighton, who performed a short comedy set and shared neurodiversity awareness. Fyfe Dangerfield played two absolutely stunning sets, moving between guitar and grand piano. It was wonderful hearing his new material alongside the beautiful Guillemots classics!

We felt very blessed – it was a special evening and we raised £1,500. After expenses, we still made £1,200 and this week we received a charity donation of £500 towards this project. This means we can start planning our new sensory room, allowing many more students the opportunity to take time out when they need to self-regulate. Sensory rooms are designed to provide a controlled and interactive space that stimulates the senses and promotes relaxation, focus, and emotional regulation. They typically include a variety of equipment, such as soft lighting, calming music, tactile surfaces, vibrating objects, and visual stimuli.

  • Amanda Burgess, community liaison and income generating manager, Priory School, Lewes

Further reading

Join FundEd to access our database featuring over £14m of grants for schools