In the run up to Purple Friday 2019, we’d like to give a big shout out to Airdrie Academy who were one of the top fundraisers for Purple Friday last year. The entire school took part in the celebrations with the goal of raising awareness of LGBTI inclusion in their school, and to send a clear message to all pupils and staff: Airdrie Academy is a safe, inclusive and open place for all!
Throughout the month of February pupils gave presentations and explained the importance of Purple Friday at assemblies. One of the key messages that pupils took home with them was that you don’t have to be LGBT in order to stand for equality. The daily Pupil Bulletin further re-iterated that a collective voice really can make a difference.
In the week leading up to Purple Friday, pupils and staff were invited to sign their name on the school’s rainbow flag to demonstrate their commitment to LGBTI equality. As well as raising awareness, Airdrie Academy was also committed to raising vital funds for LGBT Youth Scotland. Their Pupil Group "Pride not Prejudice" (PNP) sold rainbow lanyards to staff; and rainbow wristbands, Everyday Hero badges and rainbow ribbons to pupils at break and lunchtimes. On the morning of Purple Friday, rainbow doughnuts were on sale and were so popular that they sold out in minutes! As if all of this wasn’t enough, pupils made donations of £1 to “dress-down” and wear something either purple or rainbow-coloured on the day. In total, the school raised a fantastic £917!
Many staff and pupils noted that Purple Friday was a catalyst for lasting change in their school. Negative attitudes and views are challenged and pupils are educated about LGBTI equalities and how to tackle homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. Some of their S6 pupils were inspired to become LGBT Ambassadors and their Pupil Group Pride Not Prejudice is more popular than ever.
If you are looking to take part in Purple Friday this year, Airdrie Academy’s top tip for fundraising might be useful to you:
“Promote Purple Friday as much as possible and set up a Staff and Pupil Working group to plan activities. We found people love buying anything rainbow – get creative!”