‘Our small village school of 88 pupils, aged 4 to 11, is surrounded by beautiful countryside and is very well supported by the local community. We work hard to provide a welcoming and stimulating learning environment for our pupils. However, our Victorian building and Elliot mobile classrooms have seen better days. So last autumn, we launched a £5,000 fundraising campaign to refurbish and redecorate one of the Elliot buildings.
Known as ‘Fire Class’, the building is home to our Year 3 and 4 children. It has had various alterations over the years, including a cloakroom space, where the ceiling had begun to leak. The carpet was popping up, the blinds were stuck and it was in need of some TLC. When we launched our campaign on DonateMySchool.com, we uploaded photographs showing the condition of the classroom to highlight why we needed help.
We also posted comments from the children to support our appeal, such as “the walls are grotty and the paint is coming off” and “the ceiling in our cloakroom is dripping, which is making our books soggy”.
A link to the DonateMySchool site was added to the parents’ section on our school website. The site was a good focal point for our fundraising and it meant people could donate anonymously (we received a couple of large donations this way). We also benefited from the Gift Aid that the site collected on behalf of our PTFA.
We were able to publicise our campaign through our PTFA and school Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as in our village magazine. We also got coverage through our local town (Wincanton) website and newsletter.
In addition to crowdfunding, we carried out our own fundraising, with events such as a Christmas market (which raised around £400) and carol singing. The children in Fire Class also got involved by running various competitions and cake sales. Our chair of governors, who felt her children had really benefited from attending the school, was particularly proactive in drumming up donations.
We received a large cheque from the village committee and another large donation through the crowdfunding campaign, and were delighted to exceed our target by the end of term. The final total of £6,721.96 will enable us to transform our classroom.’
Mary Alexander, headteacher, Horsington Church School, Somerset (88 pupils)