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Schools - Jam Jar Army


Schools involved are invited to send the following letter to parents.

Jam Jar Army … for our Youth Theatre

Dear Parents and Carers,

I’m writing to tell you about a very particular way of giving called the Jam Jar Army – you may perhaps  have seen posters and jars around or read about it in the Northumberland Gazette.

The idea is simple. Eat the jam that’s in your jam jar at home (that bit is quite important), and when the jar is empty and clean (that’s not as important but it’s probably better that way), fill it with all those coins you don’t really want which weigh down your handbag and your trouser pockets, and are scattered around the house gathering dust.

The Northumberland Gazette is backing the Jam Jar Army and together last year we raised £12.8k for HospiceCare North Northumberland.  (The hospice  has to raise an astonishing £256,000 every year to pay for its services.) Following on from that success, the Gazette invited its readers to select another worthy cause which the Jam Jar Army could get behind, and more than two hundred people voted for Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre. Currently the children in the theatre group put on six musicals a year; unfortunately however, the Youth Theatre is about to lose its annual £40,000 in funding. Kids in the Youth Theatre come from across North Northumberland so this affects the performing arts and backstage opportunities available to all of our children.  Despite the immediate funding challenge, the Playhouse also wants to extend its programme of activities for children across the county, and we are hoping you might help.

We would love you to join our Jam Jar Army and put a jam jar by the kettle or the phone, and fill it with the spare change you can afford to give, at a time of your choosing. For our last appeal we had support from families, schools, churches, community groups and businesses – and we are hoping for a similar, if not better, level of support this time around. In particular, we are hoping for your support.

In return, you get to feel good about yourself for pennies (because it’s a well-known fact that the act of giving lights up the brain in the same way as the act of receiving.) Moreover, your own children will learn to give by your example as they help to fill the family’s jam jar. And as the coppers and silver fill up that jar, you should know that you’re  making a real difference to your community in supporting the Playhouse and our children.

This is a local initiative supported by our local paper for a local charity.  It takes a lot of jam jars to hit that £10,000 target. We are hoping you will start collecting in your own jam jar (and if you can spread the word among grannies and granddads and aunties and uncles and friends, then they could start collecting as well.) We can work to establish a habit of giving in our homes. Let’s get jammy together.

Judith O’Reilly