I have worked as the PA to the Principal at Welland Park Academy since 2004. When I started here we were an 11-14 school but 3 years ago we went through an age range change and started taking students aged 11-16. This brought many exciting new challenges with it including GCSE exams and of course Prom.
I immediately volunteered to Chair the Prom committee and each year a group of students from the Year 11 cohort have come together with a few members of staff to decide the theme and then organise fundraising events to enable them to have the Prom of their dreams. This years committee were doing really well and were at 75% of target when their efforts were curtailed by COVID:19. Many schools have decided to cancel their Proms this year but I am passionate about our students not missing out on what has become a rite of passage and something they have been looking forward to for so long. They have been with us for 5 years and worked so hard towards this final chapter and it is all being taken away from them - no GCSE's, no leavers assembly, no presentation evening, no proper chance to say goodbye to the staff and students they have been at school with for all this time. I have had to change the date due to the current global situation but I am determined that they will get a Prom.
The committee has also already been formed for Prom 2021 and they too were due to start their fundraising before the Summer break but again are not able to do so. A large event in September has been cancelled which they normally use to raise a substantial amount of money so they are already on the backfoot. They are trying to raise money whilst on lockdown but obviously that is quite difficult. With no guarantees of when schools will be reopening fully they are missing out on so many chances to get started on their Prom journey.
I want to start the Crowdfunder to see if we can generate any additional funds this way. I have set a target to help both this year and next year but to be honest, any amount raised will be fantastic. As I always tell the students when an event doesn't go particularly well, every £1 raised is £1 more than they had yesterday.
Normally at the end of the academic year, any funds that are left from the Prom fundraising are donated to a charity (last year we donated approximately £650). This year we will be carrying it over to help Prom 2021 and then we will donate any residual monies next year instead. I need to give next years committee as much help as possible too during these uncertain times.