Friends of Blackthorns (FoBs) is the Parent Teacher Association for Blackthorns Community Primary Academy. Please find below an outline of who we are and what we do.

What is FoBs?

FoBs is a charity registered with the Charity Commission (no. 296156). Being a charity allows FoBs to apply for ‘Gift Aid’ (earning an extra 25p from every pound donated out of earned income), benefit from ‘charity matched’ giving schemes (more information below), receive prize donations from local companies and be eligible for certain grants available to charities.

Over the years FoBs have raised tens of thousands of pounds through events supported by families at the school. These funds have been spent on projects, items and experiences which help to support and enhance educational aspects at the school and also build upon the school’s community spirit.

All parents and carers are automatically members of FoBs on joining the school and can get involved in a number of ways from joining the Committee to ad hoc help at fundraising events. Getting involved in FoBs is fun and a great way of getting to know other families at the school – just ask any of the Committee members or helpers!

FoBs Objectives

As noted in our constitution the objective of Friends of Blackthorns is to help advance the education of pupils in the school in particular by:

  • Developing effective relationships between the staff, parents and others associated with the school;
  • Engaging in activities or providing facilities or equipment which support the school and advance the education of the pupils

Role of our Committee

The FoBs Committee consists of Officers (Chair, Treasurer and Secretary), the Principal and Vice Principal of Blackthorns Community Primary Academy and Committee members. We meet on a regular basis, normally once per half term, and have smaller working groups meeting additionally to organise events, such as the Christmas Fair and the Summer Festival.

All parents and carers are always welcome to come to the PTA meetings and also get involved in events and activities run by FoBs.

So who are Team FOBs?

  • Chairperson – Jo Timcke
  • Treasurer – Wyn Lewis
  • Secretary – Sarah Muirhead-Smith

Other members:

  • Clare Iles
  • Lydia Lee
  • Helen Blore
  • Kate Batty
  • Kar Lai Payne
  • Emma Parsons
  • Mathew Gurr
  • Lee Goodeve
  • Neil Evans
  • Marianne Brand (Principal)
  • Tom Jordan (Vice Principal)

Second hand uniform sales

  • Louise Beasley
  • Lydia Lee

Find, and like us, on Facebook (Blackthorns PTA)


How do we raise money?

Most of our fundraising is achieved through events such as the Christmas Fair, Summer Festival, Fundraising Fortnight and social events for parents, carers and their friends.

If you would like to get involved in certain events or have ideas for future events please let us know. We are always grateful for feedback on events and also ideas to help us improve our fundraising efforts.

How are funds spent?

It is agreed at Committee meetings how funds will be spent. The Principal or Vice Principal of Blackthorns Community Primary Academy usually provide a ‘wish list’ of items or activities they would like to fund with the money raised by FoBs. These are extras that benefit the children at the school which cannot be financed through the school budget. In the past funds have been used to refurbish the school’s computer suite, redevelop the KS2 playground, fund author visits and provide social events such as the FoBs Christmas lunch for the children at the school.

Keeping you informed

The FoBs newsletter is sent out each term and includes information on upcoming events, details of money raised, current fundraising projects and requests for help.

We will also send out notices via parentmail and book bags.

How else can you help?

FoBs would not have achieved the successes over the years without the ongoing support from families and staff at the school. We understand that not all people will be able to join the Committee but there are many other ways that you can help. Perhaps you can offer ad hoc help at our events or help with the set up the day before. You may be interested in helping to run one of our regular events, such as Film Friday or Disco events for the children.

You can also help in the following ways:

Corporate help
1. Company ‘matching’ money raised – your company may offer to match money you have raised by helping at an event. For example they may match the money raised on a stall or by an activity you were helping with. Please check with your employer.
2. Raffle prizes / sponsorship – your company may be willing to offer raffle prizes, sponsor stalls at events or sponsor fundraising activities.
Give As You Earn (GAYE)
Does the company you work for allow payroll giving? It is possible to set up a monthly donation that is deducted before tax so each £1 you give will only cost you 80p (if you are a higher rate taxpayer, it will only cost you 60p). So it you want to regularly donate £5, it will cost a basic rate taxpayer £4 or a higher rate tax payer £3 (the tax man pays FoBs the rest!).
Gift Aid: One-off Donations and Sponsorships
If you are a UK basic rate taxpayer and you make a one-off donation to FoBs, or sponsor an event held on behalf of FoBs, for every £1 you donate FoBs can claim an extra 25p from the tax man.
You can help to raise money for the school while you shop online. By registering with Easyfundraising and selecting ‘Blackthorns CP School' as your charity you will receive donations for FoBs (usually a percentage of the money spent) without costing you an extra penny. The website contains over 2000 retailers including M&S, Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and eBay. To get started go to:

If you would like more information on any of the above items please speak to one of the Committee members or contact us via PTA@blackthornsprimaryacademy.org.uk