Identify the PTA

What's the best way to make volunteers stand out at an event? Daniel Etherington looks at the options

In the whirl of activity at events, visitors need to see who’s running the show. Here are the best ways to make your volunteers more visible.


Lanyards are ID cards attached to a ribbon and worn around the neck. PTAs can change the insert for different events or to show the wearer’s name and role. A firm PTA favourite, they are easy to wear and compact to store.

Suppliers sell lanyards with ribbons in a wide range of colours so you can match them to your school’s logo or uniform. The ribbon can be printed with text of your choice, such as the name of your PTA or school. One drawback is that they are small and can be hard to spot.


Plain waistcoats or gilets or are the most cost-effective option. For a small cost, these can be printed with text and logos. Ask the school, Local Authority or nearby companies if they have spares they are willing to donate.


The most helpful feature of an apron is its practical pockets. Bib aprons are a popular style and are easier to pick out in a crowd, but waist aprons are equally handy for storing change, pens or phones – useful for volunteers staffing stalls.

Ask if any craft-loving parents or carers could make aprons for the PTA, possibly using up fabric from surplus second-hand uniforms or tote bags.


A simple polo or T-shirt is arguably the most comfortable option. Source them in the school colours and get them printed with your logo to make it obvious who’s part of the PTA team. Shirts will need washing after events, and not everyone will take the same size.


Provide volunteers with stickers – it’s the quickest and cheapest option too. Get your stickers printed commercially, or if you have a colour printer, buy sticker sheets and make them yourself. Keep it simple by having them all the same, or create a design with space to write the volunteer’s name or job role. Keep a few extras for when they come unstuck and fall off.

And the rest...

Tabards: The open-sided garments worn by some professional cleaners. There’s no need to worry about different sizes, and many have a practical pocket too.

Badges: Choose from pin-on badges with plastic sleeves for an insert or simple button badges. Buy online or ask if anyone has a badge maker and make your own.

Humorous headgear: Give the PTA something distinctive to wear, such as Santa hats or reindeer antlers, for a fun option at Christmas events.

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Further reading