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To ask as school summer fair and fete season starts

(104 Posts)
NynaevesSister Sat 14-Jun-14 08:35:28

You volunteer to help, if you can of course, with the fair/fete at your school? I would say, put your name forward, be clear about what you can do/time you can do, and finish when you said you were going to.

But please so pitch in, even if to run a stall for an hour. Maybe the fair looks chaotic, maybe a few stressed people don't necessarily seem friendly on the day! But please don't let it put you off. Children love getting to do something in their school that isn't actual school, and the money raised does help. Especially these days.

usualsuspectt Sat 14-Jun-14 11:05:59

YABU , some people have neither the time or the inclination.

NynaevesSister Sat 14-Jun-14 11:07:33

Which is why I said if you can smile

I figured that the inclination bit is the sticking point though. Why is it unreasonable to give up two hours once a year volunteering?

usualsuspectt Sat 14-Jun-14 11:10:41

I've spent enough money at school fetes over the years.

I figured that's my bit done.

Nerf Sat 14-Jun-14 11:11:31

How about 'if you can and care about the school fair'
Because I hate them, hate spending a fortune on cakes I could buy for a quid a packet in the co-op, hate the second hand crap the kids win, hate the endless sweets, ice creams and overly made up dance troupes. So I have zero intention of helping. I would rather give the PTA a tenner per child instead, and have suggested this.

PlantsAndFlowers Sat 14-Jun-14 11:13:16

I wouldn't want to deprive someone else of the thrill of martyrdom.

gamerwidow Sat 14-Jun-14 11:14:06

yanbu school is a community and it's a shame people who can get involved don't.

Abra1d Sat 14-Jun-14 11:16:55

I never understand why people, unless they have exceptional demands on their time--very small babies, elderly dependent parents, etc, can't find an hour to help their communities.

Inclination has nothing to do with it. Lots of people help because they feel they should, not because they want to. Most volunteers do not always enjoy their volunteer duties.

usualsuspectt Sat 14-Jun-14 11:20:19

I've spent my hard earned cash on cakes and lucky dips and winning a Dove gift set on the tombola at many a school fete.

That's helping the school.

JasonOgg Sat 14-Jun-14 11:20:56

After a parent told me I wasn't "Pulling my weight" after a week of teaching their child all week plus being Santa's little helper for 3 hours, I decided to help at either the summer fete or the Christmas fair but not both.
My crime? Going home before the tiding up.

WorraLiberty Sat 14-Jun-14 11:24:09


I spent 7yrs doing that sort of stuff and I have to say I don't miss organising Fetes and was a pain in the arse but actually the parents were really helpful and supportive.

The kids got some lovely playground equipment amongst many other things so everyone was a winner.

Freckletoes Sat 14-Jun-14 11:29:41

YANBU! Play groups, toddler groups, schools, brownies, cubs..... If your kids goes you should contribute some time and energy to their efforts. What feeble excuses...
"I've spent enough money" -so those who help out all the time don't spend money themselves?!
"Hate them....would rather give a tenner" -well give your tenner and then come up with suggestions of something they could do to fund raise that you do like.
"Time or inclination" -so all other parents, working or not, miraculously have more hours in the day than you do? Inclination-well that really is the main reason isn't it? The can't be bothered attitude.
"....Martyrdom"- WTF?

As OP says-1 hour of your time. If everyone gave just 1 hour then a) you wouldn't be put out by such a small amount of time and b) the people who usually do give loads of time wouldn't feel so hacked off that the same small group of people are always pulling their weight.

from a far less diplomatic "martyr" than the OP

Nerf Sat 14-Jun-14 11:32:06

Freckle I have posted several times to the Facebook page suggesting they do a survey of what people can do to help/ what people want to do and all that happens is they say 'we've done that' and then set up some rubbish event that is poorly attended and staffed. So tough.

tobysmum77 Sat 14-Jun-14 11:33:35

martyrdom hmm .

I've got an hour on a stall this arvo, quite happy to be deprived of it believe me! Someone has to do it is my opinion so it may as well be me.

Freckletoes Sat 14-Jun-14 11:35:45

nerf why don't you organise what you would prefer then? Then you would realise how bloody hard it is to get support and help from other people and maybe a bit more sympathetic to the OP!

Tangerinefairy Sat 14-Jun-14 11:35:56

I see both sides of this. I have been on the PTA at DD's infant school and help alot at PTA events at my own school and I see how bloody tireless and lovely the volunteers are and how much the kids enjoy the events they plan and the money they raise. It really upsets me when people call volunteers like this "martyrs". In my experience it is usually just a few people who do most of the work and that can be very annoying.

Otoh I also find it annoying that (probably because not enough people participate) once you are signed up you end up not being able to enjoy the events at all because you are so rushed off your feet and can't get away till god knows when either. It wouldn't put me off doing it though. I love helping and mucking in most of the time.

5madthings Sat 14-Jun-14 11:36:52

Yanbu I spent six hours at ours yesterday helping set up, man stalls and the cleaning up at the end.

Thankfully lots of parents helped and teachers and the head teacher as well.

It was a brilliant fete and the kids loved it. It was bloody hard work though!

But our pta raises a lot of money for the school and it's used for all sorts from playground equipment to school trips etc. Our School has a lovely community spirit and it's good to be part of it.

Also every little bit helps, be it cakes or a donation or half an hour of your time to man a stall. I was lucky that dp had a day off and could watch toddlermadthing so I was able to help for the duration but that's not expected, just half an hour is fabulous.

Redcoats Sat 14-Jun-14 11:37:32

OP you won't win with this thread. On MN, everyone who's involved in the PTA are queen bee bitches with no life to be avoided at all costs.

We organised a sponsored pyjama mile at school on Friday. We were desperate for volunteers on the day. Put out several calls on fb, but It was just the usual faces.
After i posted photos of my kids on fB later A couple of people were moaning how unfair it was that 'only the PTA were allowed to come and watch'.

CSIJanner Sat 14-Jun-14 11:38:01

You're in the wrong place OP - get the parents in foundation/reception. Get then before they know any better

Nerf Sat 14-Jun-14 11:41:13

Because I don't want to. I have zero interest in attending school social stuff, and if the alternative was a monthly direct debit I would be happy. But surely the PTA could listen to feedback if they want others to pay to go to stuff?

Nocomet Sat 14-Jun-14 11:41:49

If you can't help, don't want to spend, £30 + keeping your DCs quiet I totally understand, but please do put that £10 in an envelope or send in some bottles for the bottle stall.

I happen to like face painting, but doing refreshments is my idea of hell.

Trying to help with littlies is a real pain, I understand that. I made DH bring them - and he moaned. Some village PTAs are awful at understanding that you don't have granny to come or a DH who wants to talk rugby with the other dads.

But please, please if you can help in any way, with donations, shopping, posters or anything else before the day. We will love you and the DCs will too.

Schools are insanely short of cash. At our little primary most fun came from PTA money.

Nerf Sat 14-Jun-14 11:43:52

I always send several cakes for cake stalls and then dutifully but them back at sponsored stuff. I pay sponsorship money. I do not want to waste a precious Saturday supporting something I don't want to be at.

poshme Sat 14-Jun-14 11:45:31

I don't help at the PTA fair. I'm a SAHM. I know some people think I should help.

I spend more than 8 hours a week doing other voluntary work. I organise,run and do all the admin (voluntarily)for a summer activity week for kids.
My DH does aprx 15 hours voluntary work every week as well as having a job.
The PTA summer fair is one of the very few events that we go to that either DH or I are not helping at.
There maybe many reasons why people don't help even if they could.

catgirl1976 Sat 14-Jun-14 11:46:14

DS is still too young for all this thank god, but I think the chances of me helping when he is older are pretty minimal.

I really can't think of anything worse.

I will go along and pay £10 for a crappy cake or whatever, but standing behind a stall all day is my idea of hell.

sixlive Sat 14-Jun-14 11:47:27

It seems people forget it's volunteering, badgering people or making them feel guilty does not work.

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