It is a great feeling looking out at the hundreds of people who have come along to your school fete or festival – until you realise that all your volunteers and helpers have blended in to the crowd and no one knows who they are.
It is vital that visitors to your fete know who is working for the school. They need to know who they can buy the second-hand books from, who they can ask for directions to the bathroom, and who they can approach when they have lost their toddler.
Making your volunteers stand out in a crowd is not only helpful for visitors, but it also makes good business sense. Having easily identifiable workers makes transactions move faster and more smoothly, and it is likely that people will naturally form a queue.
Be a community
The other benefit for having volunteers wearing a visible uniform is that it can create a sense of belonging and community. Workers know they belong to a special group, and if the uniforms are gifted to the volunteers as a thank you, it becomes a permanent reminder that their effort are appreciated. Alternatively, a set of helper uniforms can be made by the school and reused each year at various events.
Ideas for volunteer ‘uniforms’
What works well for your event will depend on how many volunteers you have, your budget and other factors.
At the very cheapest end of the spectrum – brightly coloured caps, badges, vests or sashes are a visible way of making volunteers stand out. Even asking all volunteers to wear a bright yellow or red t-shirt would work.
If your event has a theme, volunteers can wear matching headbands or hats (such as Santa hats or Easter Bunny Ears). Other ideas include large sombreros, cowboy hats, glitter hats, top hats.
Ask volunteers to wear their child’s school hat (if they fit).
The next level up is to design an item of clothing that is printed with the school logo, event details or other information. Kept simple, with the just the school logo, and ordered in a range of sizes, they can be washed and reused at other events.
Consider approaching local businesses (especially printers) to see if they will donate or subsidise printing costs – you can create a general design that can be used at multiple events (ie. Hall Park Primary School Volunteer) and put it on an item of clothing that could be reused each year. Aprons are probably the best option as they are the most hygienic and they tend to be ‘one size fits all’. Expressions offers custom-printed aprons, which can be made with your school or club logo.
Other options include: Matching baseball hats
Matching rugby shirts
Adult-sized school uniform t-shirts
Matching jackets with logo printed on the back
Author: Shannon Meyerkort
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