Get fit and fundraise
An active fundraiser makes a great sponsored
event, tapping into a wider pot of money, rallying communities and
raising pulses as well as funds!
'Each year, our PTA runs a different outdoor family
fundraiser, and last year was our first bikeathon. Two parents who
have an office near the Trans Pennine Trail (TPT) in Lymm suggested
the event as the route is safe for children of all ages to cycle or
We made it a joint event with High Legh Pre-School,
with parents working together to keep the strong ties we have
between the schools. It also meant we could divide the planning
into manageable tasks.
The TPT is open for anyone to use and no permit is
required, but we liaised with the Sustrans Volunteer Rangers (the
TPT's maintenance charity), who gave us valuable advice on
positioning marshals and road warning signs. They also helped
marshal the event and provided goodie bags and a certificate for
all child participants.
We sold tickets on Eventbrite two months in advance,
at £10 for adults and £6 for children. This included refreshments
during the event and a meal afterwards.
We offered six route options, from 1km to 20km, with
activities to keep children who did the shorter routes busy. We
asked parents and grandparents to marshal the route, with sticker
charts for the children so they could collect a golden star at each
marshal station they passed.
One parent organised a cycle-themed raffle. Prizes
were donated by local shops and included bike services, a child's
bike, helmets and bike lights. In return, we displayed logos on
leaflets and banners.
We encouraged all riders to seek their own
sponsorship, and a parent set up an online sponsorship page, which
allowed the local community to donate. Because the PTA and
pre-school were very specific about what the funds would be used
for, donors were happy to contribute.
The children loved the event. Older children enjoyed
having the freedom to cycle with their friends, while parents said
they were on their bikes for the first time in ages. The event was
attended by 150 people, and it's inspired families to cycle more.
We raised £2,155, which was divided 50:50 between the
PTA and the pre-school. The PTA has put our funds towards a MUGA,
while the pre-school has bought a new event shelter for its outdoor
Emma Openshaw and Rebecca Booth, PTA
co-chairs, High Legh Primary School, High Legh, Knutsford (155
'For the past four years we've held our Denby Dash,
where school families and the wider community run across bridleways
and footpaths around our village.
Runners enter online, at £4.50 for the 3k
run and £6.50 for the 10k. The run is held at the end of
September and starts and ends at the school. We get permission from
owners of the land we cross and notify the council about the event.
We have 200-300 runners per year, and we promote the run by
leafleting at local parks, putting up posters, advertising at
school and through Facebook.
Lots of running groups come, and the 3k is popular
with families. Some people bring dogs, who get a medal
We are fortunate to get lots of sponsorship. The
Derby Runner supplies the signs and a blow-up arch for the finish
line. The bibs are sponsored by estate agent Henrys Simms,
Warburtons supplies the cobs, Buxton Water donates bottles of water
and Ocado gives us a £50 voucher. Last year, each runner got a
medal and a goody bag with vouchers, water and treats. It's a great
way to raise money from people
who aren't linked to the school, and we usually raise
£1,200-£1,600. If you're thinking of holding a fun run, go for it.
It's hard work but very rewarding. There are lots of sponsors out
there, you just need to be a little cheeky and ask.'
Sarah Simms, committee member, Denby Free
CofE School, Denby Village, Derbyshire (126 pupils)
'We arranged a sponsored triathlon event in collaboration with
Smarden Primary School. There was cycling, swimming and a walk,
which took place over three weekends. The schools worked together
to plan appropriate routes through the local countryside, finding
suitable alternatives for younger participants. The triathlon was
very much a family event, and it was good to have parents and older
siblings come along to show support for pupils. Many of the
children achieved personal bests in terms of the distance they
cycled, swam and walked - this sense of achievement really boosted
their confidence. There was no charge for entry, and we raised £600
in sponsorship, which makes a big difference for a small village
school. There is so much you can do to vary the event, by offering
different sports, or perhaps combining it with a picnic or by
turning it into a nature walk. It is something I would definitely
recommend to other PTAs.'
Kelly-Ann Kaur, PTA member, Pluckley CofE Primary School,
Kent (120 pupils)
'Cheltenham is world famous for The Festival, a four-day horse
jump-racing festival, which inspired us to create our 'sponsored
gallop' seven years ago. This annual event coincides with the
festival and consists of an obstacle course on our school field. It
is simple and cheap to set up, promotes exercise, and is huge fun
for the children.
Preparations start one month before the event: we order
stickers, buy refreshments, organise helpers, check equipment and
get staff to complete a running order. Our only costs are £40 for
squash, biscuits and stickers, as all the equipment belongs to the
To sponsor a child, supporters can complete a sponsorship form
and post it in the PTA postbox with a cheque or cash, or they can
donate online. We encourage people to add Gift Aid when they
The event is held on two separate mornings: one for infants and
one for juniors. The obstacle course is made using hurdles, rope
ladders and hula-hoops, plus a water jump (being splashed with
water!). Each jump has been given a name inspired by the teachers,
including Harford Hurdle, Price's Peak and Hobbs' Hedge.
Children come to school in their PE kit, and each year group has
a half-hour slot, which includes a five-minute musical warm-up led
by a PTA volunteer and a simple explanation of what to do. They
then complete the gallop. Infants run five laps and juniors run as
many laps as they can in 15 minutes. Afterwards, there is a
ten-minute refreshment break and pupils are awarded a sticker and
thanked for taking part. There are no winners - the emphasis is on
enjoyment and taking part.
The event requires around eight to ten volunteers. As the event
is held during the school day, the only way to see your child take
part is to volunteer to help, so this really encourages uptake. In
2019 we made a staggering £1,725.94!'
Nathalie Dawson, PTA secretary, St James' CofE School,
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire (420 pupils)
Three Peaks Challenge
'Last year, a team of 27 walkers, including the Head and Deputy
Head, set about completing the Three Peaks Challenge - to climb the
highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within 24 hours.
Our target was to raise £30,000 to refurbish and equip the school's
new ICT suite. This event brought together our whole community. The
children ran their own fundraising activities, including a T-shirt
design competition, where the winning logo was printed by a local
business. Each walker had a Just Giving page or cash donations
could be sent to the school. The PTA is a registered charity, so
Gift Aid could be recovered, and some of our donors sought match
funding through their companies, which was a huge bonus. During the
weekend of the walk, email bulletins gave updates of the team's
progress which made everyone feel included. Many thought our target
was over ambitious, but in the end we raised just over £38,000 -
for a little school with 240 pupils this was a stunning
Jane Broadis, PR officer, Christ Church CofE School,
Chorleywood (240 pupils)
Fancy dress fun run
'We hold an annual fancy dress fun run at the local cricket
club. The organisation is simple - we send out a sponsor form to
parents and put copies in reception, giving details of the date and
time. The whole school took part, from the youngest, Jonny Bailey,
four, in his hand-knitted chain mail costume, to Sebastian Selby,
11, dressed as his favourite Spanish footballer. The run doesn't
have a formal length - the children run laps of the cricket pitch -
some ran seven, whilst some ran 19; teachers, TAs and PTA members
have clipboards to record the laps. We split the children into
eight groups of ten, with kids from each year in each group - this
encourages everyone to help each other along, which is excellent
for team building. It wasn't just any old ordinary race - some
children ran backwards, some crawled or even danced Gangnam Style!
All helped each other, so a great time was had by all, and everyone
slept well that night! We usually raise around £500, which isn't
bad for a school of 85 pupils! We gave a certificate to each child
saying how many laps they had completed.'
Kathy Carter, PTA Treasurer, Easton Primary School,
Woodbridge (85 pupils)
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