School fundraising: Our fun run raised £3,400 towards stage equipment

How a community event raised the profile of Little Green School’s theatre project in Croxley Green

The hall at our three-form entry junior school has hosted many talent shows, plays and musical performances over the years. It’s also a popular lettings venue with dance and drama clubs for children and adults in our village. However, the lighting and sound equipment is past its best and so the headteacher asked the PTA if we could fundraise for a professional quality theatre system. The thinking was that pupils would be able to use the new equipment to enrich the quality of their performances and to develop their skills and interest in theatre and stage management during lessons.

For the PTA, this was a great project because it meant we could coordinate our efforts towards an end result that was physical and permanent, making it easy for people to see how their donations had been spent. We set ourselves the goal of raising the £10,000 required over one year, opening a crowdfunding homepage on the InvestMyCommunity (IMC) platform. This made it much easier to collect and receive donations as there is a QR code allowing people to make instant donations by phone. InvestMyCommunity is now known as GoodHub.

We planned an event programme for the year and sent it out to parents and carers, with information about our project goals. We started with a ‘Break the Rules Day’, where parents and children paid 50p for every rule broken, such as wearing trainers to school. Usually this event raises about £300. However, using the IMC page more than tripled our total donations.

In the spring we held a sponsored fun run round the village. Each school house (Elephants, Hippos and Rhinos) competed on a leader board on IMC to raise the most money. Despite the rainy weather we went ahead and it became more of a welly waddle than a fun run! Our younger kids thought this was great, though Year 6 pupils were disappointed not to be running!

Not only did we get most of the pupils involved but we encouraged grannies, aunties and other extended family members to sponsor the run, while parents and carers helped with marshalling the event. This raised the profile of the theatre project in a very physical way, embedding it into community consciousness, with parents and governors located around the route.

In total, the event brought in £3,449.38 (including £590.38 in Gift Aid), smashing our target of £1,500. Elephant house topped the leaderboard, raising £1,313.75, but Rhino and Hippo weren’t far behind, raising £1,213.75 and £921.88 respectively. It was a massive effort from all, and the community of parents was fabulous.

We’ve got a circus event later in the year, where children can join circus workshops – and parents can then buy tickets to see them perform. We’ll also hold a celebratory parents’ event to show off the new equipment that so many in our community have played a part in providing.

  • Cat Hutchinson, Friends of Little Green School, Little Green Junior School, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire (360 pupils)

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