Its strange how great can come from adversity. When Marine Richard Hollington became the 300th serviceman to die on operations in Afghanistan in June 2010, many people started to raise funds in his memory. a childhood footballing team mate picked up on a fund raising Heroes Day event previously run by All Farthing School, to run several in his local area. Richard’s father saw the potential of running the idea on an annual basis Nationally, so registered and built a website, got Prime Ministerial and others’ endorsements, got TV and Press coverage and raised lots of money during the inaugural event on 21 October 2011. Schools and businesses continue to register even though there has been little promotion as we re-organised the event in 2012 and again this year.
For schools there are two strands to the event, the curriculum and the fun event.
Many schools choose to link National Heroes Day into the curriculum and teach/discuss the whole concept in class or assemblies, particularly the chance to introduce the difference between celebrity and hero. For the very young, some schools just ask the children to find words they associate with a hero. Some ask for a short story about their personal hero – and why they chose them. Other schools embrace the concept over a week or more, and post pictures and essays over corridor walls and invite parents in to special assemblies.
Fun Fundraising Day
Whether a school decides to link the day to a curriculum or not there is a great opportunity to have a fun educational event by dedicating a “mufti” day to fundraising and for the children and staff to come dressed as their personal hero – whoever that may be. In some schools this has been linked to cake sales or other similar activities.
National Heroes Day is officially 21 October and was chosen to coincide with Trafalgar Day. Hundreds of schools took part in the inaugural and second events in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 Heroes Day itself is a Monday so we feel the majority of participants will celebrate on Friday 18th.
To date, participating schools average about £300 raised per school. 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. A schools pack, focused on Primary Schools is available here.
In addition to the Prime Minister many other 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.