2013 Registrations are now OPEN
Welcome to Heroes Day 2013 – the third Annual UK National Heroes Day. It will build on the tremendous support that it got last two years where we have had the best part of 500 organisations and many thousands of people taking part each taking one day of their year to honour their personal hero. However, this year sees a few changes and an admission – we have discovered a school that ran Heroes Day in 2010 after snow postponed their 2009 event! What doesn’t change (and after much internal debate last year, never will) is that all the money raised by organisations and individuals participating in National Heroes Day events will go to Help for Heroes - running and admin costs are met by sponsors and volunteers (and in due course perhaps the sale of Heroes Day merchandise). To be clear National Heroes Day is Prime Ministerial endorsed day for honouring your personal hero, hopefully raising lots money at the same time for a great cause. National Heroes Day is not a charity in its own right but a fund raising event for and officially endorsed by Help for Heroes.
National Heroes Day is a simple concept, based on the idea of schools encouraging their pupils to honour their heroes (whoever that is – mother, father, Buzz Lightyear, George Best, Winston Churchill, Christopher Columbus, Yuri Gagarin, their class teacher), by coming to school dressed as their hero one day in lieu of school uniform. Many schools link this to their curriculum. But just because the idea was originally targeted at schools, doesn’t mean business cannot take part – indeed many do.
We now know that Allfarthing Primary School ran a Help for Heroes fundraising event where the students dressed as their Heroes as early as 2009. We would love to hear from any organisation or individual, who has a claim on an earlier event. However, National Heroes Day is now an annual National event. It came about when a young teacher, Danny Glavin, wanted to raise money for help for Heroes in Memory of his childhood football team-mate and my son, Marine Richard Hollington, who was the 300th UK casualty in Afghanistan. Rather than just ask people to sponsor him, he invited a few local schools to replicate the All Farthings event and I saw the opportunity to take the All Farthings basic idea and have hundreds of organisations take part each raising a bit, but collectively raising a lot.
A few schools piloted the concept in the summer of 2011 and the children and staff had a really great time honouring their personal heroes, some of the best costumes being a simple t-shirt with a picture of a relative serving in Afghanistan on it and children dressed as their great grandfathers along with their WW1 medals. Schools really got a buzz out of discussing with the children the difference between Heroes and Celebrities. As a result, hardly a football shirt was in sight during the pilot events.
The BBC Coverage of the 2011 Press Launch is here:
When I wrote to him, the Prime Minister was so taken with the concept that he endorse an “Official Annual National Heroes Day”. Heroes Day itself fall on 21st October, which fittingly coincides with Trafalgar Day. This year this is a Monday, so we expect most participants will run their preparatory activities the week before, culminating on their celebration on Friday 18th October. The Prime Minister’s endorsement can be found here and a video introduction is below:
Whilst the concept was originally focused on schools, there is no reason why businesses can’t join in and those who have chosen to encourage their staff to honour their hero this year can be found here
SO what are you waiting for, why not register to take part this year – take a look around the site for coverage of the 2011 event and just see how engaged the participants were….. SIGN UP NOW