As many of you know, we support local schools with fundraising, and we love this work as we get to know some incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to raise money for their children’s schools. We caught up with Seonaid Bentley recently as she has been one of the brilliant people we’ve worked with. She’s been involved with Lingfield Primary School PTA since her children started school in 2012, and she found herself as chairperson for the last couple of years, she is stepping down to welcome a new team and we wanted to celebrate her achievements and all those of the LPSA.
What events have you run?
We have lots of sub groups within the LPSA who run events throughout the year. These include: quiz nights, fashion shows, story telling afternoons, ice lolly Fridays, coin trails, bake sales as well as Festive Fridays and the Summer Fête which I coordinate. Festive Fridays are when we sell crafts, cakes and other lovely Christmas things which parents from the school have made.
Which one did you love the most!
My favourite event though is the summer fair. It is the biggest event of the year and every class runs a stall, the teachers and staff come along and help and (hopefully!) the sun shines. There’s always a really lovely atmosphere. This year as well as all the traditional stalls we had a dog agility display by Clever Paws, pottery painting with Kate Creative, dancing shows by Evolution Dance and the ever popular reptiles and mammals on display from Animazing. The local community also help by generously donating raffle and silent auction prizes and of course Move Revolution sponsor our fair and provide fantastic marketing materials and this year Paul and Tom also hosted the bar at the fair and learnt how to mix their first Pimms, which were very yummy!
What Competitions have you run?
Design a cake competition, Design an Easter egg, coin trail, fancy dress, Great British Bake Offs
What was your favourite and why?
I really enjoyed our coin trail comp. The children had to work together and collect coins as a whole class, they then got to spend part of an afternoon outdoors on the playground laying their coins down to see which class had the longest line.
It was great seeing the children all work together and they really seemed to enjoy getting some extra outdoors time. The school came together as a whole which was lovely: The LPSA set the competition, the pupils collected and laid down their coins, the teachers organised the afternoon itself and one of our office staff will count the coins. It was a real joint effort. The very lucky class 2b, who had the longest trail, won ice lollies for the whole class.
What has made you laugh the most… the Fun in funraising!
Quiz night is always a really fun night! The parents get to relax and have fun, we provide nibbles, there’s a bar and a raffle. We have a fantastic compère who hosts the night, Richard Leader, who is a Meridian FM DJ and also a parent at school. He really sets the scene and it makes for a very entertaining evening. Building towers from spaghetti and marshmallows and a some Mums forming a human pyramid were highlights this year!!!
How much money have you raised – what has it been spent on at the school?
Last year we raised over £15,000.This money was used to purchase many things for the school, items which they otherwise would be unable to get due to the huge budget cuts schools are facing. The LPSA aims to raise funds for “added extras” which really enhance the children’s time at school. We have purchased: Interactive whiteboards, tablets, picnic tables, eco planter tables, resources for reception year group, storage play equipment, play bark, sand, outdoor gym equipment as well as contributions to school trips, leavers presents and commemorative coins for ever child.
This year, the money we raise is being used to improve many outdoor learning areas including a fantastic outdoor, forest school class room.
What has been great about working with the Move Revolution team?
We love working with the Move Revolution team. They are so positive and enthusiastic and have fab fundraising ideas. It is really great to sit down with them at the beginning of the year and plan events and competitions. The marketing materials they design for us are fantastic. The competitions they sponsor, such as this years design an easter egg competition are great. They allow the children to enter something just for fun and we always get a fantastic number of entries. This year Move Revolution awarded 3 pupils a lovely arts and crafts set for their brilliant efforts. Move Revolution have also set up an initiative whereby if any parent or carer of a Lingfield Primary School pupil sells their house with Move Revolution then they will donate £250 to the school. This will really help to boost our fundraising targets. Thank you Move Revolution, we really appreciate everything you do for our school!
What are you going to do next?
I got involved in The LPSA when my children started at the school in 2012. In the beginning I got involved helping at events and became a class rep. After a couple of years, I found myself in the vice-chair role along with a friend and then when the Chair person left our school I took on the role. I have been Chair of The LPSA for the last two years. It’s been really lovely to be part of a team who have raised so much money for all our children to benefit from and I’m really proud of what we have achieved. However, I have some projects of my own going on and it is therefore time to hand over the reins to a new team of parents.
I will be focusing on finishing a huge renovation project that we have had going on at home for the last 6 months and then I hope to start a cake business supplying celebration cakes and cupcakes and maybe even teaching the odd class. Exciting times, watch this space for Mrs B’s Bakes…!
We’ve tasted and seen your cakes Seonaid, and we know they are utterly delicious so your business will be a great success! Good luck! (if you would like to chat with her about making you a cake email firstname.lastname@example.org
We really love giving back to our local communities, and in order to do more of this, we’d love you to give us a call if you’re thinking of selling or letting your home. We’re on 0330 223 1000.