Back at the beginning of July the Year 4 staff called a meeting with a few of the parents in a bid to help organise the Leavers party which they traditionally arrange every year. They wanted to come up with some ideas on what to organise around the suggestions the children had provided, including the request for a disco and talent show. We all wanted to give them a great send-off.
I offered my photography services in running a photo booth for the kids and, in my capacity as a blogger, I offered to write to a number of different companies which I dealt with to see if any of them would be able to provide decorations for the hall and props for the booth in return for a review on my blog. I wasn’t going to charge, I just wanted to make sure that the children had a great time.
Quite of a few of them kindly wrote back to say that they couldn’t help me, some didn’t bother to reply and one particular company came back to me with a small budget in order to be able to help us. As every penny counted, I agreed to their offer and asked a few questions about the size of the hall. This was a exactly a week before the party – which was being held on Friday 15th July. On the Monday, the company came back to me in the morning and I emailed again less than half an hour later. Then I heard nothing again.
That night I had a very restless night’s sleep worrying that we were not going to get the items on time so I emailed around 7.30am to chase. Again, nothing. So I rang the shop who told me that they had no number for their PR contact and that he was very efficient (!). They told me if I ordered on the Wednesday then they would send the items on the Friday. But, of course, this was no good to us! Despite this, I still didn’t hear anything until late Wednesday. I suggested that, in future, they should think more carefully about who they promise things to and then not come up with the goods. It wasn’t me they were disappointing – it was 38 school children!
Panic stations! At that point I put a few messages in Facebook groups to see if someone might be able to help as well as message some people I knew. Funnily enough, a couple of people mentioned the company that had let me down. Eventually though, Joanne Dewberry at Charlie Moos came up trumps!
Charlie Moos specialises in handmade fabric party bags that add extra special touch to your child’s party. Joanne decided to start the business when she wanted to see a change in the plastic tat that gets provided and it is such a great idea! They also stock more traditional and character based products including greetings cards, party bag fillers and party invitations. It was through her business that she was able to send us a number of decorations, a 2016 graduation sign that went perfectly on my photo booth backdrop as well as some props for the children to use.
Joanne was able to organise it so that I received the decorations the very next day. We then arrived at the school around 45 minutes before the start of the party so that me and 3 other mums could decorate before the children arrived. I also needed to set up my backdrop and lights and lay out the party props.
The evening started and the photo booth was in full swing straight away. The children had fun dancing and there was also a candy floss machine which the Year 4 teachers ran to keep the kids entertained. The food was served to the kids in boxes thanks to our local (favourite) fish and chip shop and then the kids had a wonderful time entertaining each other in the talent show. Grace did a fabulous job singing ‘Firework’ by Katy Perry – which Ross and I also knew the words to by the end of the week having heard her practice it a thousand and one times!
All in all, the decorations added a little something special to a fantastic party. The photo booth was a massive hit, the children loved using the props and it left me having to edit over 300 photographs following the event. But, you know what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The children had an amazing time.
I have to say a massive thank you to Joanne Dewberry of Charlie Moos who offered her services free of charge to help us with this party. She did not expect anything in return, so completing this write-up is the least I can do for her. Thanks again Joanne!