The Hook Schools Parents Association (HSPA) in Hampshire were feeling the strain from the cancellation of events such as their annual beer and gin festivals, fireworks night and other key events so they decided that they wanted to take action to keep the Association going.
The Hook Schools Parents Association (HSPA) in Hampshire were feeling the strain from the cancellation of events such as their annual beer and gin festivals, fireworks night and other key events. The team knew that they had to pivot quickly to continue their fundraising efforts in a time where their usual activities were redundant.
The members of HSPA have a wide range of skills between them and had great fun thinking outside the box. They came up with the innovative idea to team up with a local gin distillery to produce and sell their own gin, the perfect fundraiser during a ‘stay at home’ order. We spoke with one of the parents on the committee, James Rushmere, to find out more.
“Our Vice Chair, Scott, first got in touch with the Parentkind Membership Support Team to talk about some of the admin tasks we needed to do – making sure our Constitution was up to date, providing the correct key contact and the structure of the committee. We got chatting about what our Parents Association had been doing during lockdown – here’s the story!”
We contacted Parentkind to get some advice on changing our constitution which hadn't been touched for almost 20 years. Shula was incredibly knowledgeable on all things related to this change - from the constitution design itself, the order of the meetings/votes we would need to take and the other considerations we would need to be mindful of when making such a change. Shula was also super useful in helping us to understand the other support we could get from Parentkind, a lot of which we had no idea was included as part of our annual membership.
James explains “many of our events were cancelled due to the global pandemic, so parents were discussing other ways to fundraise. As a result of this we came up with the idea to partner with a local gin distillery, Gorilla Spirits, to launch our own gin”.
Gorilla Spirits are a local distillery based in Upton Grey, near Hook, who the Parents Association had previously collaborated with at their annual gin festival. James goes on to say “Gorilla Spirits are keen to work with the local community and have already supplied hand sanitiser to GP surgeries as well as helping food banks with their deliveries. After a chat with them about what we wanted to achieve, Hook Gin was born. We contacted the local parish council for permission to use an archive photo on the design of the gin bottle which really enhanced the local selling point. The gin also has a lovely delicate undertone of rose petals, which signify the Hampshire emblem of the red rose".
How did it go?
The idea was really well supported by both the school and community. “We actively shared posts on Facebook by the distillery, as well as saying thank you to the local pubs who were stocking it. It was a lovely way to get the wider community involved with HSPA and raise awareness of what we’re about”. When the gin first launched they sold over 250 bottles within the first month, £5 of each bottle goes to HSPA. Ed - congratulations; what an achievement!
James explains “when restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so we will continue with key fundraising events but Hook Gin will remain a steady stream of income for the Parents Association.”
Inspired by our #PTAHeroes and want to know how you can innovate your fundraising? Here’s where you can start…
- Engage local businesses with your PTA – they will likely be pleased to support a community effort. Have a look at our info sheet to get started
- Get your thinking caps on! We’ve put together all sorts of fundraising ideas in our Advice Hub
- Share your great idea with the local press – here’s our guide to writing a media release
- Having a social media page is a great way to let the local community know what you’re up to - here's our guide to getting started