Former prefects turn their fundraising skills into cash

Alma mater: James Lloyd and Jemma Phibbs at Wheatley Park School

Alma mater: James Lloyd and Jemma Phibbs at Wheatley Park School Buy this photo

First published in Oxford

When Jemma Phibbs and James Lloyd were head boy and girl of Wheatley Park School they did such a good job of running fundraisers they decided to start a business doing it.

Now their firm 2JEvents hires out school halls for anything from birthday parties and church groups to karate training.

So far their portfolio includes Wheatley Park and Sandhills Primary and they are about to add five more.

Part of the profit goes back to the venue, with £15,000 generated for the schools last year.

Mr Lloyd and Ms Phibbs, both 21, started with a £900 loan, which they have now paid back.

Mr Lloyd said: “When we get a booking clients can pay extra for us to set up and clear away the space, or they can choose to do it themselves.

“All the schools have to do is give us their diary and keys and we sort everything else out, including the marketing.

“Allowing us to sort out the bookings means there are no overheads for them but they receive an income.”

The duo, who employ five staff on a part-time basis, offer extras such as catering services, table and chair hire, bouncy castles and entertainers.

In the past year they have hosted 400 events, ranging from children’s parties, dance competitions and musical theatre rehearsals to corporate training sessions, with prices starting from £15 per hour.

They also have regular customers such as a karate club, orchestra, church group and darts teams who hire premises weekly.

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Mr Lloyd, who lives near Thame, has kept the business going while Ms Phibbs has been studying history and politics at Cambridge University.

Now she is back home in Yarnton they are ready to expand the firm.

Mr Lloyd said: “It’s fun and exciting earning our own pay packets, and within a year we would like to add five more venues to our books.”

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