Total participants: 18409
Heroes Day was the brainchild of Danny Glavin, a Primary school teacher in Hampshire. Triggered by the death of a football team-mate, Marine Richard Hollington, the 300th serviceman to die on operations in Afghanistan in June 2010, he decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2011 to raise funds in Richard's memory on behalf of Help for Heroes. However, rather than rely on his friends to sponsor him, he came up with the amazingly simple idea of asking schools in his cluster to dedicate a "mufti" day to fundraising and for the children and staff to come dressed as their personal hero - whoever that may be.
With no difficulty, some 30 local schools, mainly infant and primary schools signed up to hold such a day, delighted to be able to introduce the difference between celebrity and hero. In discussions with Richard's family it was decided to try to take the concept nationally, on a dedicated day, which was 21 October 2011 and chosen to coincides with Trafalgar Day. Hundreds of schools took part in the inaugrual event and we are hoping for many more in 2012 when Heroes Day itself is a Sunday so we feel the majority of participants will celebrate on Friday 19th.
30 schools were then treated as a "pilot" to prove the idea worked, raising an average of over £300 per school and over £50,000 was raised for Help for Heroes on the day of the main event and we are hoping for much more this year. With almost 17,000 primary schools and 4 million primary school children in England, there is an opportunity to make a very substantial contribution to the sterling work of Help for Heroes.. Last year's schools pack, focused on Primary Schools is available here, it will be updated for 2012 shortly.
So we wrote to the Prime Minister and other people of note and in the public eye, seeking their endorsement and have been absolutely delighted with their responses that can be seen here.