Lynda Kenway, PTA Vice-Chair at Ysgol Y Castell in North Wales (202 pupils) told us about her PTA’s exciting fire walking fundraiser:
‘I searched online for an event that would capture people’s imaginations and came across a company called Survivorbility Ltd which puts on events such as fire walking, glass walking and bar bending. As fire walking is visually exciting and goes against everything a person thinks is possible, it seemed perfect! Recruiting participants was surprisingly easy, although they all asked the same question, “Will I burn?”! We had 26 people walk the coals, including the head teacher and the Mayor of Rhuddlan (our youngest participant was 17). They were asked to raise a minimum of £75 each – Survivorbility charged £1,500 for running the event. We advertised locally with posters, on Facebook and set up a Just Giving page to help collect the money. Once I had the sponsored walkers in place I then opened up the remaining places on a pay-to-walk basis, charging £25 per person, which meant people with no connection to the school contacted me to take part. On the day, I arrived early to help the fire supervisor and coordinator set up the fire bed and light the fire. The fire was then left to reach its optimum temperature before the walkers arrived. Once they had registered and handed over their sponsorship forms and monies, the walkers were given a talk to get their minds focused and took part in some icebreaker activities. After that it was straight outside to the waiting crowd to walk the fire. A few people looked a little sick at this point, but everyone walked the coals and some did it more than once! It is a little hot under foot, but it proved to be an incredible experience for all involved, with many feeling like they could conquer the world afterwards! We held a raffle on the night to maximize profits. In total we raised over £4,300 (including Gift Aid), which is incredible. We are using the money to purchase a defibrillator for our school. Fire walking is a fantastic experience, a mental challenge and open to anyone over 14 (with parental consent). It sparks the imagination of the community and I would definitely recommend it. You’ll need to plan ahead a bit, but ask everybody you know – you’ll be surprised who’ll say yes.’
NOTE: Ask to see a copy of your fire walking suppliers’ public liability insurance prior to the event and, as fire walking is considered a hazardous activity, let your PTA insurance provider know beforehand, too.