Happy’s Circus for Schools needs Financial Support to Survive
The Circus that has raised over £12m for schools and charities is fighting for survival and WINNING!
FUNDRAISING FOR SCHOOLS www.happyscircus.co.uk
Established in 1992, Happy’s Circus, created by Happy the Clown who seamlessly grew to become Mr Happy (aka Russ Randall) is teetering on the brink of collapse. The Circus nearly run out of money because Covid forced schools to cancel ALL their 2020 bookings. The Circus did not work for 20 months.
Some schools wanted Happy’s Circus so much that they re-booked each time the government promised a new date with less restrictions.
They have now finally enjoyed the show. But sadly these schools were in the minority.
Every school that said “We really want you to come, but not in 2021, can you come in 2022?” led to the speedy almost demise of Happy’s
Circus. Happy’s Circus nearly out of money by the end of July.
Russ, along with many other ex-servicemen suffered PTDS, he was deeply affected by putting the bodies of children into body bags during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in the 1974. During his 12 month UN tour having been shot at and blown up many times he decided to make a pact with God / The Universe that if he got out of this conflict alive, he would dedicate his life to making children ‘Happy’.
Back in Civvy street, with no money, he started busking with his daughter in his backpack.
By the time his children attended primary school, he had developed a career as a Children’s entertainer. His wife was on a PTA, looking for new fundraising ideas, she asked if he could put on entertainment for the school so that the PTA could sell tickets.
Happy’s Circus was born, Russ knew, if he could do this for one school, he could do it for thousands…and he has.
Happy’s Circus grew from 3 men staying overnight in a van on the side of the road to two professional Circuses employing 33 performers
specialising in International artists bringing cultural diversity to schools. Three full time office ladies plan and manage extensive tours
across England and Wales, often two years in advance of the tour because of strong demand. “Even the kids will love it!“
The Business Model
Schools pay a fixed fee, sell the tickets and keep the profits along with money generated from other selling activities. Happy’s Circus provides monthly support, lesson plans, videos and lots more. During the school holidays, the Circus is booked by festivals and Holiday Parks.
Happy’s Circus was unable to perform throughout 2020. Russ and Pat Randall took out a £50K Bounce Back Loan, raised £85K from a Pension Fund and secured £210,000 from the Culture Recovery Grant Fund, round 1. This meant that they were on track to start rehearsals in March 2021. Bookings were great, but then the 2nd and 3rd waves struck and time stood still. There was no event income, fixed costs remained the same and a 2nd Culture Recovery Fund grant application was unsuccessful.
The delayed start of Happy’s Circus Covid-safe 2021 season was planned to coincide with Freedom Day, 21st June. The remainder of June and all of July were fully booked and although tight, the season was financially viable.
The delay of Freedom day until 19th July, resulted in the catastrophic cancellation of more than 50% of bookings. Despite the 2020
collective financial effort and a further small grant from Eastleigh BC, the loss of June-July income and the need to continue to pay wages and bills, rendered the business on the brink of insolvency by the end of July.
Happy's Circus survived the summer! They could not have done this without the support of helpful customers who paid promptly, two additional small grants from Eastleigh Council, the amazing financial support from their team, the kind donations from GoFundMe benefactors and fast tracking new bookings that came from nowhere! However, they have not worked enough to survive the winter without a winter
plan and more financial help.
They are awaiting news of another Grant application, as well as planning Christmas work and hoping that donations will
continue to collect @ GoFundMe. And there is still time to book a September/October day or evening visit from Happy's Circus. The 2021 theme "Fantasy and Fairies" has been really well received.
Financial Support to Survive
Happy’s Circus is already 60% booked for 2022, but needs more financial support to start the 2022 season.
The success of the Vaccination Programme and the removal of so many restrictions has bought major change and a sense of calm.
Happy's Circus unlocks schools and the surrounding communities, delivering Fun, Fundraising and massively contributing
to raising mental wellbeing.
Russ and Pat say: “We have some bookings for 2021 and you could help even more by:
BOOKING US ASAP FOR SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2021. We really need your booking to keep us going until we can start fundraising in
April 2022 and continue to entertain, educate and fundraise for future generations of children.”
"All the money donated will be used to help keep Happy's Circus alive until we can start fundraising again in April 2022, when we are
already almost fully booked and can get back to making everybody's day a happy one."
“If you have enjoyed Happy’s Circus during the last 29 years or if you are a school that has benefited from fundraising with us, please, help us survive to continue our Life's work by donating whatever you can."
Russ and Pat Randall
Date 18th September 2021