We asked Lois Fitzgerald, School External Partnerships Coordinator at St Catherine’s Catholic School in Bexleyheath, about her wear it pink events and why both her and the teachers and students of the school continue to support Breast Cancer Now year on year.
What is your motivation for taking part in wear it pink for Breast Cancer Now?
“I think raising awareness of breast cancer especially at our all-girls school is incredibly important. Our students need to be educated in the importance of taking care of themselves and being aware of health issues which may affect them in the future.”
How has your school previously supported wear it pink?
“We have always supported Breast Cancer Now here at St Catherine’s, but after a number of our staff had been directly affected by the disease we have upped our game in the past few years.
We have held raffles, the pink ice bucket challenge, cake auctions and loads more. In 2014 we managed to raise £2,508!
After attending a Breast Cancer Now event and talking to other amazing supporters of the charity, who have dedicated their lives to fighting breast cancer, we were inspired to double our fundraising. Therefore we pledged to raise £4,000 in 2015. We collected raffle prizes from our wonderful local businesses, I organised my first gala night ‘Pink Fizz,’ and we held lots of events in school. We managed to raise a whopping £4,720 and I have never been more proud of my amazing school and community.”
What does this year’s wear it pink day entail for your school?
“We always have an own clothes day on wear it pink day where the students and staff pay a £1 to wear their own pink clothing! This year I am organising our first Krispy Kreme sale, we are looking to have a special tea party.
I have already purchased fascinators, headbands, head boppers, Minnie mouse ears and tiaras. Basically anything that I could my hands on that was pink! I will be making a bra cake and auctioning it off for the staff, something that has gone done really well the past two years.
In addition, each form room will have a paper ‘Memory Tree’ and will receive a handmade ribbon so that they can write a message on it about someone that they are thinking about at the moment or someone that they would like to remember which can go on display in all of the classrooms. Students will also be able to enter a colouring competition, as colouring has been a big trend this year. Personally I am also working on creating my own colouring book to print and sell to our students.
So yes we have got quite a lot planned!”
Do you have a fundraising target for this year?
“Ideally I would like to raise just over £2,700 this year. As this would mean, in three years we have raised over £10,000 which is a fantastic achievement for our school and something that I am most proud of in my career so far.”
What would your top tips be for anyone else thinking about organising a wear it pink event?
“Be organised! Working in a school is busy at the best of times so make sure that you have everything planned in advance.
Be realistic! Although ideally you want events to happen on wear it pink day, if this isn’t possible because of workloads and the school calendar, spread your events out. It doesn’t matter if you are fundraising all year round! We held the Pink Fizz night in November and it was great having a bit of time to get organised after wear it pink in October.
Get involved! There are so many resources readily available to promote your event on the wear it pink website. The more passionate you are about an idea or event, the more the students feel passionate about it too.
Have fun! Enjoy all the hard work that has gone into organising the events.”
What would you say to any other schools thinking about taking part in wear it pink?
“Go for it! The staff are so incredible at Breast Cancer Now and take so much time to call and send detailed emails about how to make your event a success. You can order extras of lots of goodies like balloons, money boxes, social media silly props in the ‘My Resources’ section of the website, as well as downloading digital resources.
Being part of wear it pink has been massive for our school and being able to show our students what they are capable of achieving and how amazing our school is, is just priceless.”
Has Lois inspired you?
You can still sign up to get your free fundraising pack and wear it pink with thousands of others across the UK next Friday.