It’s not every day that a primary school child starts up their own business, and even rarer that a whole school starts a business all at once.
However, thanks to a group of dedicated children and staff, that’s exactly what happened at St Laurence Church Junior School!
But the children at St Laurence aren’t bidding to become the next Alan Sugar or Richard Branson. Instead, pupils aged from seven to 11 have been using their imagination to raise money for Acorns Children’s Hospice.
As part of this year’s ‘Lenten Project’, the school asked children from Year 3 to Year 6 to develop their own business plan to help raise vital funds. Each year group was given their own week to set up stalls, run competitions and host games.
These included a special silver service offered by Year 6 students during lunchtime, a ‘Save the Dinosaur’ stall which saw people searching for a coloured ball to rescue a dinosaur, and a sponsored walk around the school grounds.
Impressively, the children managed to exceed their £2,000 target and raised a fantastic £5,439 to support Acorns work caring for local children and families.
Lucas, a student who helped to run the project, said it was great to see some of the younger students really getting into the spirit of things.
“We decided what groups to work in and what our stall would be about,” he said. “Then we went to each classroom during the year group’s week and tried to win prizes.
“It was amazing to see that the Year 3 children, who hadn’t done this before, made such brilliant crafts to sell like bird feeders and bookmarks.”
Another keen participant was pupil Ruby, who ran her own stall with friends. While she thoroughly enjoyed running her own business, she said the real fun was in getting to try out everyone else’s.
“We really loved running the Lenten Project because, as friends running the stall together, we had a laugh,” she said.
“We also made sure everybody had a fun time during our project week. We were able to go to visit other people’s stalls, and every year group had a week to run their own stalls.
“We thought the other stalls were great! Some of them had a drawing competition, guess the author, guess the song, nail painting and much more! Each day of the Lenten project on our stall we would raise about £5 but once we even raised £8!
“We really hope the money that we have raised has had a big impact and has helped Acorns help all of the children!”
Jane Lyndsey is the Headteacher at St Laurence Church Junior School and helped organise the fundraising project.
Most of all, Jane is proud of her children for thinking of others above themselves: “I am incredibly proud of my staff, pupils and families who have all dug very deep throughout the period of Lent putting the needs of other children and families before themselves.
“We held a fabulous sponsored walk around the school grounds, we had an Easter egg hamper raffle and we held a talent contest. Our Lenten Project motto was, ‘if we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!’
“During the 40 days of our Lenten Project, we had a lot of fun and enjoyment, but we remembered the important reason behind our fundraising. At St Laurence Church Junior School, we were delighted to be able to make a difference and help all of the children that need the support of Acorns Children’s Hospice.
“I am sure that this is the beginning of a strong relationship between St Laurence Church Junior School and Acorns Children’s Hospice.”