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  • School in a Bag 11:29 am on July 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 50 years, birthday, Children, , Golden Wedding, Inner Wheel, , ,   

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 17: Couple celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary turn it red instead! 

    Golden couple Robin and Jane Mason recently celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary and instead of asking for presents, asked for donations to School in a Bag…

    We received a lovely email back in April from Robin, who had met our Founder & CEO Luke at the Rotary 1040 Conference in Scarborough last year, as they’d been ‘very taken with the School in a Bag project’. He wanted to let us know that they were celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary in July and that ‘we have asked for no presents but if they wish, to make donations for your project’.


    The Mason’s SIAB display


    Jane and Robin Mason

    What then happened completely shocked them! Robin and Jane had a lovely day celebrating their Anniversary with their nearest and dearest and at the end of the day counted the donations they’d had and had a staggering £705 – that’s 47 Schoolbags!! They were completely shocked and phoned us with the great news and as they were coming on holiday down to the West Country, could they come to see us at out SIAB HQ near Yeovil and not only give us the cheque, but pack a couple of SchoolBags too. Of course we said yes and they came for their visit on the 11th July so we got to show them around our base and they presented us with the cheque.


    Jane and Robin presenting their cheque to Luke


    The couple said:”For our Golden Wedding we decided there were only so many Golden Roses we could cope with, so decided to ask for donations to School in a Bag.  We were absolutely amazed by the response and so thankful to all who donated to this great cause.”

    We’d like to thank Robin and Jane enormously for their kindness in thinking of us, but also to wish them many congratulations on their Golden Wedding anniversary and to many more years together :)

    This year we’ve had a number of people approaching us in the same way as the Mason’s have – wanting to use an occasion to raise money for us. We’ve had a 30th birthday, a 9th birthday and a 3rd birthday – all where the recipients opted for donations to School in a Bag rather than having presents, plus an 8 year old who after hearing from her Granny all about School in a Bag, took it upon herself to do her own fundraiser of “how many Skittles are in the jar’. She was allowed to take the jar into school over two days to carry on fundraising, as well as standing up in assembly with two friends to tell all her peers about SIAB – raising enough for 5 SchoolBags and coming to visit us during the Easter holidays to pack them.


    We are so grateful to everyone who takes the time and effort in whatever shape or form that may be, to fundraise for us. We love hearing the stories of what’s been the inspiration and motivation and the events that have unfolded to bring the donations in! We’ve also had a bumper year of young fundraisers and to get little ones having the understanding that even a little bit of money can go an awful long way to helping a children their own age in another country to receive equipment that we take for granted, is quite something.

    If you would like to do a fundraiser for us, whatever age you may be, we’d love to hear from you! Also, if you need any marketing materials, fundraising tips or want us to promote what you’re doing through our social media pages, then please get in touch: hello@schoolinabag.org


  • School in a Bag 4:29 pm on July 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Children, Families, Family, , , , , ,   

    SIAB ‘Blog in a Bag’ No. 16: Home Farm Fest 11 raises the roof – and a whole lot more! 

    This month’s blog is all about Home Farm Fest and just what a cracking year we had, breaking all previous records for the amount we raised! Thank you to all of you who came along either as punters or as volunteers and if you couldn’t make it this year, we hope you can make it next year – 9th-11th June 2017!

    Charity Festival is a Record Breaker Once Again!

    Home Farm Fest, the charity music festival held in Chilthorne Domer and the biggest annual fundraiser for the charity School in a Bag, has once again smashed its previous year’s fundraising total coming in at just over £60,000!

    Last year’s festival raised £46,666, an enormous leap from 2014’s £27,418, therefore rising over £32,500 in just two years – and it has now raised a total of over a quarter of a million pounds in its 11 year history.

    This year the festival organisers decided to make a few changes to the layout and introduce a fifth stage which all worked very well, allowing a bigger spread of people over the festival site. The England v Russia Euros football match was also shown on the big screen, cream teas were served amongst a plethora of Union flags and red, white and blue décor in the Tea Tent – where many of the ladies serving even wore tiaras, to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday, and the festival had its first silent disco and dodgems. Definitely a bumper year in more ways than one!

    These changes, plus the continuation of more and more people coming back each year and bringing new people with them, has seen a rise in numbers by nearly 1000 people in the past two years. With the new stage, there were also 96 performances over the three days compared to 71 last year which is almost a 25% rise on the amount of music and other acts on offer.

    Luke Simon, Founder & CEO of School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest organiser, said: “This year took us by surprise once again! Our ticket sales far exceeded any previous year in the lead-up to the festival and we couldn’t believe just how far some people are travelling for it now as it used to be very much a locals thing. There was a big Cornish contingency and having spoken to one man to ask how he’d heard about Home Farm Fest, he said he’d found it after searching for family festivals on the web, come across us and will definitely be back next year, which is great!

    He adds: “With the festival getting bigger, it means relying on more and more volunteers and we are so lucky to have such a brilliant team who help from setting everything up, being here over the festival weekend and then helping tidy up afterwards. We’re only a small team who run the charity and organise the festival, so we are truly grateful for all the help we receive. Once again I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helps, from all the bands who play for free, the sound engineers and stage managers, Play Art who give up their time to help entertain all the children, and the huge number of volunteers as all this effort amounts to thousands being raised for School in a Bag.”

    Planning for Home Farm Fest 12 (9th-11th June 2017) is already underway and although there won’t be big changes like there were this year, it’s hoped that the upward trend will still continue in the forthcoming years. For now though, School in a Bag is able to prosper from the gain and put it towards helping even more children gain an education through its SchoolBag initiative.

    Have a look a look at the photos below for a round-up of the festival :)


    School in a Bag and Home Farm Fest team from L-R: Luke Simon, Lis Foy, Charlotte Pike, Zoë Fox

    HFF11 vols

    HFF11 volunteers! (some of!)

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    The Domer – our new stage for this year!


    A merry gang in their Posh Wears and Wellies for the Friday night


    Stage backdrop


    Singing from The Domer stage


    Cool kids!


    Climbing the dizzy heights of the Festival




    Two of our fab bar staff!

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    Our wedding couple after they’d just got back from their ceremony :)

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    Dodgem fun!

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    Enjoying the festival

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    Three scary people!

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    Some of the wedding party with the Groom

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    Some of the wonderful Tea Tent volunteers!

    HFF11_2016 114


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