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  • lucas 9:27 am on April 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , fundraiser, , , line-up, , music festival, , , ,   

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 22: Our Charity Festival and what it means to us 

    Running a charity is hard. You’re constantly trying to come up with new ways to fundraise and capture the imagination of people to part with their hard earned cash. 2006 saw the first Piers Simon Concert, held in memory of Piers on the family farm where the charity is still based. It was in collaboration with popular Yeovil band Storm and there were three bands on one stage during one afternoon/evening – it raised £8,500. Skip 10 more festivals and over £253,000 raised and we’ve now a three day festival, Home Farm Fest, with 6 stages and over 120 bands playing – quite a difference!

    Home Farm Fest has become School in a Bag‘s biggest annual fundraiser. In the last three years alone it has gone from raising £24,000 in 2014 to £46,000 in 2015 and £60,000 last year. The growth is due to a rise in popularity both of musicians wanting to perform, but also people wanting to come along. It’s a very cheap festival (only £45 for an adult Weekender ticket this year), has great music across the 6 stages as well as a large Children’s Area, a Market Area, lots of individual attractions and some great drinking establishments!

    This year’s line-up of musicians is by far our biggest to date, and doesn’t even include our new Busk Stop in our Village Green area that will have people playing all weekend too, in fact not just singers but poets, spoken word and dancers. It’s really exciting to be a part of the development and know that we can fundraise through a completely different way to the more common bike rides, marathons and such like – not that we’re belittling these at all because they are all huge achievements often putting people way out of their comfort zone where as Home Farm Fest is a way for families and friends to come together to enjoy a weekend of good music and fun, yet still raise money for charity.

    We’ve also developed in other ways this year – we’ve introduced e-ticketing which will save us a LOT of money on postage, we’ve getting durable plastic Collectors’ pint cups that will have this year’s Home Farm Fest logo on and help us with our mission of being more green as there will be less waste. We’ve got a new one-way entrance and exit to the festival to alleviate a natural bottleneck we have on-site, but also to help with the flow of traffic and noise in the village. Basically, it’s growing.

    We’re still in our infancy though and as a core team of only four who run both the charity and the festival, it can get pretty crazy at times! We have a fantastic committee of people who help out with running certain areas of the festival and take it on-board in their own spare time, for free. Without them we simply wouldn’t have the manpower to do it all and the festival, and therefore the amount raised would suffer. We also have incredible support from local businesses who donate huge amounts to us: stages, lighting, sound equipment, toilets, marquees, generators, etc etc that means we can get spend to  minimum and profits high. We are so very grateful for all of this time and effort that’s poured into the festival so a BIG thank you to all concerned.

    So back to this year and the music. Here are all the musicians who are performing over the three days and the stages they’re on:Home Farm Fest 12 line-up

     

    If you’d like to come and join in with this year’s festival, tickets can be bought via our website: http://www.homefarmfest.co.uk – we hope to see you in 6 weeks time, 9th-11th June!

    Thanks,

    The School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest team

     
  • lucas 3:37 pm on April 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: half marathon, hello, run, Running, , SchoolBag, , supporter,   

    Hello from School in a Bag – to friends old and new! 

    Dear School in a Bag supporter

    Greetings…and for some of you, welcome back to the School in a Bag blog!

    Now what does that mean I hear some of you ask? Well, I am writing to admit that for the past three years (since we started using our bespoke database) a glitch in the coding has meant that some of you have not been receiving our regular blog posts. In addition to this, the system fault has also not been adding our new supporters to the mailing list. For this mistake, we are of course very sorry…you can imagine our shock when we discovered this and realised that 4,400 contacts were floating in the system!!

    So, please accept our apologies and hello from us here at School in a Bag. I am aware that in the past three years your interests may have changed and you may well have shifted your attention and support to other organisations. That is absolutely fine and if this is the case, please click unsubscribe from the bottom of this email. If you are happy to hang in there with us and receive some updates about what we are up to then please sit back and enjoy our news.

    To give you a brief update, School in a Bag have now distributed 75,551 SchoolBags to children in 35 countries and with a consignment currently being handed out in Bulgaria as I write, that will take us up to country no. 36.

    For those of you new to the Blog, around 28th of every month we send out a ‘Blog in a Bag’ post which focuses on our supporters and what is that they do/have done to support School in a Bag. This month’s ‘Blog in a Bag’ focuses on a merry group of 35 runners who took part and completed the 7th annual Yeovil Half Marathon on Sunday March 26th.

     

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 22: The Yeovil Half Team

    Last year, the organisers of the Yeovil Half Marathon Total Buzz Events and Full on Sport changed the course so that the start and finish were in Yeovil Town Centre. It was an inspired move which not only helped raise the profile of the event but also generated a real buzz in the town. 22 runners ran for team School in a Bag is 2016 and we were excited to see whether we could increase this number for Yeovil Half No.7. Thanks to our Christmas pop up shop in The Quedam Shopping Centre (where the finish of the race is located) and to the fact that AWASA (AgustaWestland Apprentice and Student Association) for Leonardo Helicopters have chosen SIAB as their charity of the year, we managed to assemble a record-breaking team of 35 runners. Runners wore a branded running top with their name on it and the majority also wore an empty SchoolBag rucksack giving the charity great exposure whilst making the athletes identifiable within the crowd. The team also included yours truly who ran dressed as a SchoolBag!

    For the past three years I have been lucky enough to push my daughters around the course in a buggy but have always fancied making a big SchoolBag outfit to run in. So, in January I started researching which materials would make the best framework and opted for 15mm push-fit plumbing pipe and the connectors since this was lightweight, flexible and could be connected together to form the shape. The framework was then built in to the harness of a deconstructed rucksack so that it could stay attached to me and not move around when I ran. The first few training runs in just the framework caused some strange reactions from the cars and people I met out on the road – it looked like in was in full upper body traction but they proved invaluable to the development of the outfit. The biggest adjustment I needed to make was to keep the framework away from my front as this hindered my running stride. The additional T bar which connected to the waist harness of the rucksack rectified the issue and enabled the framework to keep it’s form. The modification would allow me a three quarter running stride which proved quite efficient.

    However, the mastery in the SchoolBag outfit appearance is thanks to Wendy Pit-Kerby, a seamstress from Sherborne who could visualise how the red SchoolBag coating would look and fit to the frame. After a couple of sittings with a template she manufactured an incredible shell from tent material that replicated the scale, proportions and appearance of a SchoolBag. With an all-in-one red lycra body suit, the outfit was complete!

    Alongside the SchoolBag raising awareness, the aim was to also try and raise enough money to fund 25 SchoolBags. If you would like to help me try and reach my target (I’m not quite there yet!) please donate via this link. Thank you in advance.

    The run was great fun and the atmosphere amongst the team and around the course was fabulous. Within team SIAB were runners from Yeovil businesses The Cow and Apple and The Kazbar – who formed their own sub-teams and competed against each other by calculating which team finished with the best average time. Within the wager, the losing team captain (both were male) would have his legs shaved and sadly, Gareth from The Cow and Apple is now the proud owner of very smooth pins!

    Big thanks must go out to Total Buzz Events and Full on Sport, for choosing School in a Bag as one of the three charities the run supported, and to Wendy for manufacturing a magnificent SchoolBag cover at no cost. The outfit survived the run and will now become a mascot for the charity. Thanks also to team runner Jules Richards who provided massages post race in exchange for donations and finally, congratulations to all of the runners from Team SIAB for completing the course and raising money.

    If you would like to join Team SIAB for the 8th yeovil Half Marathon in 2018, please email: events@schoolinabag.org or if five miles is more your thing, we’ve got our 2nd annual Hash Run on Tuesday 2nd May here at Home Farm. More details can be found here.

    Warmest regards,

    Luke Simon

    Founder and CEO of School in a Bag

     

    YHM

    Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 15.12.29

     

     
  • lucas 11:22 am on February 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 21: A new member of the team. 

    Our blog in a bag this month comes from Annabel Bates who has supported School in a Bag for many years – but has recently taken on a more involved and regular role with us. Over to Annabel to introduce herself and tell you a little bit more…

    My name is Annabel, I’m 31, and I live in Yeovil with my Husband and my 2 children.  I was born and grew up in Yeovil, going to Birchfield and Buckler’s Mead School and then on to Yeovil College. When I left College I moved away from Yeovil for a couple of years to live my my partner, but once we married and had our  1st child we moved back to Yeovil to be closer to family and friends.

    By the time we got back to Yeovil, The Piers Simon Appeal and School in a Bag were already established and Home Farm Festival had been running for a few years. We had 2 small kids, a love of music and camping so the festival appealed to us straight away and from our first weekend we were totally hooked! As we learnt more about the charity and all the fantastic work it does it made sense to get more involved and gradually I got involved with the Big Bag Pack at Tesco and other events that School in a Bag put on throughout the year.

    In 2015 I turned 30 and celebrated by asking family and friends to fund a Schoolbag on my behalf rather than buying a present. I smashed my target of raising enough money to pay for 30 SchoolBags (one for each year) and those bags went off to Haiti to change the lives of poor, vulnerable and disaster affected children.

    In late 2016 I happened to be in the Quedam just as the School in a Bag shop was opening and I went in to say hello – and left having agreed to help out a couple of times a week! Sensing my willingness to help out (and inability to say no) Luke offered me a role volunteering for the Charity on a regular basis one day a week and the rest is history!In ‘real life’ I work as a consultant for Slimming World with groups in Yeovil on a Thursday and Friday so we agreed that I would volunteer on a Monday to fit in around that and my family life. I’m based in the School in a Bag Office helping out with admin, festival and event planning, social media and pretty much anything else that needs an extra pair of hands. I’m pretty honoured to have been asked to be a part of this amazing group of people and start helping to make a difference to as many little lives as I can.

     

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  • lucas 11:07 am on February 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    An video update from The Woodheads. 

    Our most recent Blog in a Bag post told you all about brother and sister duo Rob and Georgina Woodhead who travelled to Nepal to distribute Schoolbags that they had funded themselves. If you haven’t seen that post you can view it here:  

    http://www.schoolinabag.org/blog/?p=369694

    Further to that post Georgina and Rob have shared a video of their trip to Nepal which we would love to share with you. You can find it here:

    https://www.facebook.com/GR-go-to-Nepal-2016-109411262803347/?fref=ts

    Thanks to Georgina and Rob for their fantastic support!

     

     

     
  • lucas 11:38 am on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    American Diner Night – Friday 10th March 

     

    american night lo-res poster

     

    This fab event is happening soon – and we still have some tickets available!

    It’s all happening here in the barn at Home Farm HQ  on Friday 10th March, from 7pm-11pm.

    Tickets are £20pp and for that you will get delicious American-themed food from No. 5 Catering, hip swinging line dancing by Toe The Line, a licenced bar, milkshakes and games. We’ll also be holding a raffle with all proceeds going to School in a Bag, oh, and suitable dressing up is optional but strongly encouraged

    To book your place, please email: events@schoolinabag.org or call the office: 01935 849160

     

     

     
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