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Fundraising At Tots Play

March is always a fun month at Tots Play as it's the month our very first classes launched, way back in 2009, making this year our 13th Anniversary!


13 years of bringing Tots Play to families, from those first parents and children in South Wales, to now extending across the UK from the north of Scotland to the Isle of Wight, from Wales across to Essex, and lots more in between. That's a lot of Tots over the years!


Tots Play is all about putting smiles on those babies faces, and giving parents and families more confidence in themselves and their parenting, and we are hugely proud of what we do, so love to celebrate and mark the occasion.


Our classes are also about community. The community created within them, and the communities they run within, and to honour that our anniversary celebrations are also about giving back to those communities through fundraising activities for good causes, so we wanted to share a little of what we got up to in March this year as part of this.


Anniversary Parties

The focus of our celebrations through the month were special jungle themed classes, in honour of our lovable class mascot, Totsy Monkey! Many of our fundraising activities took place during those sessions, but there were also activities, raffles, markets and more that took place throughout the month.


As a national company we chose, in conjunction with our franchisees, a national charity to support, and many of our franchisees also chose to support a cause related to their local community, recognising both the national and local aspects of what we do.


Our National Charity - PaNDAS

Here at Tots Play we are committed to making sure parents feel empowered in what is such a vital role, and giving them that special time with their child while they learn new skills and strengthen the bond between them. We know parenting is not an easy job though and sometimes parents need some support too. Having seen first hand the added pressures the last two years have created for parents, and especially new parents, giving our support to an organisation that is dedicated to helping those who may be struggling in this area was a natural choice, and why we chose the wonderful charity PaNDAS as our national charity this year.


What do PaNDAS do?

If you haven't heard of Pandas, here is a little bit about them:


Pandas are a UK charity who provide support service for families and their networks who may be suffering with perinatal mental illness, including prenatal (antenatal) and postnatal depression.’ Their aim is to make sure no parent, family or carer feels alone. They have a variety of support services available to ensure help is delivered in a way that is right for the individual. They are dedicated to ensuring that no one suffering any form of mental illness should feel they’re on their own, so their services aim to be there for those in need in this way . You can find out a lot more about them and how you can offer your support at https://pandasfoundation.org.uk/.



What did we do?


As well as promoting the services that PaNDAS offer to help them reach more people with their services, our focus was on raising funds to support their work, as well as that of the local causes being supported in lots of fun ways across the areas where our classes run.


Our franchisees chose different ways to get involved, and these included raffles, competitions, second hand sales, dressing up, sponsored sensory events, and lots more, many centred around our jungle theme! It was amazing to see families, class leaders and children getting involved and showing support! Here are just a few pictures of all the fun we had.


How much was raised?

We were overwhelmed and thrilled with the support shown by our Tots Play families and communities for this year's fundraising events, and just for our national charity alone, raised a fantastic £5320!


In many of our areas our franchisees split was was raised between the national and their chosen local charity, so the overall figure was even higher, which we are so, so pleased and grateful to have been able to play a part in.


Where will the money go?

Our donations to PaNDAS will go towards providing core training for two modules for each of our volunteers, 6 months resources, information and merchandise to increase PaNDAS presence and will enable five more groups to be set up across the UK. Along with the admin costs of keeping the email support and closed groups going along with funding the vital free helpline. ☎️ So it truly will benefit the whole breadth of the charity, which is just incredible!

Thank you

We just wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our Tots Play families, and everyone who supported our fundraising events this year, whether that was donations, going to classes, sharing our social media or even just following our journey! We are so grateful and thankful to be able to donate such a fantastic amount of money to some very well deserving charities. Another MASSIVE thank you to all of our amazing Franchisees, who worked so hard to organise and deliver their wonderful jungle classes, and who have gone above and beyond to raise money and support Pandas and their local communities!


A Final Word if You Need Support


Remember, you are doing the best, but hardest job in the world, raising a little person, or people, and you're not alone in feeling the pressure alongside the joys of that - but you don't have to do it on your own.


So many believe they have to reach a certain low before they contact a charity like PaNDAS. That is not true. Pandas emphasise that their services are for ALL parents & carers, regardless of your background, age or family situation. And you may simply just be having a bad day, or rough time. REMEMBER You don’t need a diagnosis or even to think you are mentally unwell. You don't need to label a "bad day" or a "bad week", but you can reach out for help during these times, and there will always be someone on the end of the phone. Similarly, your local class leader is there for any worries, concerns, feelings or anything you would like to share, and there are opportunities to share experiences with other parents too.


Being part of a community of other parents at a similar stage can be a huge help in getting through those day to day challenges, so why not come and join us at Tots Play to find that supportive tribe to make that journey just a little easier. We're here for you, and can't wait to welcome you.



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