In July last year Tesco held a competition on Facebook where two lucky schools would win an embroided uniform (jumper and t-shirt) for every single child at the school. One school would win based on votes and one school would be picked at random.
I discovered the competition on Facebook after my friend in Scotland posted it on her wall and soon the entire community pulled together, along with friends and family around the world, and we soon found ourselves in the lead.
Then, suddenly, another school entered the fray and before I knew it, our school was in second place. That's when the excitement started as it became a two-horse race between our school and another school from down south.
The two schools kept leapfrogging each other and our newsfeeds soon became full of everyone asking all their friends and family to vote for our school. In fact I remember one of my friends saying she would be glad when the competition was over so she would have her newsfeed back to normal! Everytime you logged on to look at the leader board, the score would change, and as the final hours counted down it became nail biting! It finished at midnight and I had never seen so many friends online at that time of night before!!!
Finally it finished, but we didn't know who had won as the leaderboard had disappeared! Was it us or was it the other school? We had to wait until the following day for it to be announced!
The wait was terrible, we knew it had been close, but how close? Who had won? Had one of the schools pipped the other at the last second?
On the Clothing at Tesco website, there were lots of comments about the competition! Who had won? When would we find out?
It was between the two lead schools, both small schools in deprived areas, both with fantastic community spirit who had come together to support their own school. Yes, there was a little bit of cat-fighting, but on the whole I believe both schools behaved with dignity and when one person from the other school made a very rude comment, the other members of that school were quick to say that they didn't agree with that person!
In fact, I was one of the first people who commented on the Facebook page saying that Tesco should award the runners-up a prize as well! Something that was quickly picked up by others. Surely such a large company like Tesco could award the runners up a uniform as well as the winner and the school picked at random. Especially as the two lead schools are such small schools when Tesco must have budgeted in case a larger school won.
That afternoon, the day the children broke up from school for the summer holidays, the headmaster came out to give us the news.... We'd WON!!! Everyone cheered and had stupid grins on their faces. In fact it was lovely because that afternoon, everyone I saw had a goofy grin on their faces and it was the talk of the town. Our little town had pulled off a miracle and had actually won.
In fact it was very very close. The score had 32 votes in it, we had 1608 votes and the other school had 1576!
But that wasn't all! Tesco had listened to our suggestions and decided to award the runner-ups an embroidered school jumper for each child in their school as well!
Once the children went back to school after the summer holidays had finished we received our vouchers and ordered our free uniforms and that was the end of it.... or so I thought!!!