Dogs Unite Organiser Guide

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1 Dogs Unite Organiser Guide

2 Get started pre event planning Thank you for taking the time to organise a Dogs Unite event. Every hour another person in the UK goes blind, and your event will help make a life-changing difference to those living with sight loss. This guide is packed full of ideas to help you plan, promote and host your event to raise vital funds and awareness for Guide Dogs. Good luck and have fun! Route: A circular route is the easiest to plan, with the same start and finish points. Two to four miles is suitable for most dogs but you could include optional lengths. Always do a test run and signpost the route if it is not clear (printable signs can be downloaded from dogsunite.org.uk). Mark your start and finish line by downloading the make-your-own Dogs Unite bunting kit from dogsunite.org.uk! We recommend recruiting a few volunteers to help with registering walkers on the day, marshalling the route and awarding doggy certificates and dog tags. Permissions: Check that your walk will not interfere with any other events on the day. If you are organising a large public walk you should obtain permission to use your planned venue: please contact your local council who should be able to offer advice. We would advise sticking to parks and public footpaths. Avoid public roads as much as possible. Don t forget to check whether your chosen venue allows dogs on site! Keep it clean: All responsible dog owners should carry their own mess bags, clean up after their pooch and dispose of the bags appropriately. Guide Dogs recommend that you take a hand sanitizer to use or that your hands are washed at the soonest opportunity after contact with a dog or its waste. Pg.1

3 Get started pre event planning Keep it safe: Only groups which have formal links with Guide Dogs will be covered by Guide Dogs Public Liability Insurance and will need to complete a risk assessment. Please contact us for more information. Plan your walk for daylight hours and watch out for any hazards such as broken glass, rubbish and uneven ground. Dogs should be kept on leads at all times and dog owners are responsible for their pet s behaviour. Consider the weather before you set out - you may need to take sun cream or extra layers depending on the weather conditions. Always remember to bring plenty of water for you and your four-legged friends. Most importantly: enjoy your event! Got a question? Just contact us on or Pg.2

4 Promoting your event Now you ve planned your event, it s time to spread the word! Use the posters and invites you received with this guide to shout about your event in your community. Getting local groups and businesses involved such as vets, dog agility groups or dog groomers can be a great way to promote your event and attract walkers. They may put up a poster for your event, share your event details on social media or even be interested in attending your event with a stall or display. If you are running low, extra posters can be downloaded from our website (dogsunite.org.uk) as well as A4 posters and additional resources such as the make-your-own Dogs Unite bunting kit, editable posters, a press release template, route signage and more! Visit Social media is a great way to promote your event. We will create an event page for your event which will appear on the Dogs Unite Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dogsunite) so feel free to invite your friends and family online and share the event on your timeline. You can also post photos onto our Facebook page or Twitter page (www.twitter.com/dogsunite), and reach Dogs Unite followers by or #MyHeroDog. Pg.3

5 We will create an event page on the Dogs Unite website so people can easily find and register for your event online. Please let us know if there are any extra details we can include to personalise this page and get people excited about taking part! Top tip! Online event listing websites can promote your event for free! We will upload your event to Walk 4 Life (www.walk4life.info) and there is also a national and regional list on the Dogs Unite website (dogsunite.org.uk) so you can add your event to the sites relevant to your area. Why not think big and aim for your event to get media coverage on the radio or in your local newspaper! It could be easier than you think - here are a few handy hints for getting extra coverage for your event: Send details of your event to your local radio stations and newspaper. To make it simple, we have an editable press release template available on dogsunite.org.uk which you can tailor to your event. You could also attach a high resolution photo of your pooch in their sample dog cape and include a website link to your Dogs Unite event page / Just Giving page. Why not invite the reporter to come along and join in the fun? Ask them to RSVP so you can keep an eye out for them on the day and have a chat. Finally, take some high resolution photos or arrange for a photographer to attend on the day. Although journalists might not have the time to attend they might include your story and photos afterwards and we can shout about your event by sharing them across the Dogs Unite social media channels! Like Dogs Unite! Pg.4

6 Event pack and registration cards Two weeks before the event you will receive your event pack which includes Dogs Unite dog tags and doggy certificates for you to award your participants perfect for a mini presentation for all the canine super heroes at the finish line! You will also receive registration cards for anyone who registers on the day. Registration on the day On the last working day before the walk, the Dogs Unite team will you a list of names of everyone who has registered. This is so you can see who has already registered in advance: anyone else will need to complete a registration card on the day. We aim to send you this list in the morning if you have not received it by the afternoon, please check you junk folder and if it isn t there please contact us on so we can ensure you receive this before your event. All walkers (not just those with dogs) will need to complete a registration card before the walk begins*. This is so we can recognise all your efforts and contact everyone who has taken part to say thank you! Please return all completed registration cards within three days after your event using the freepost address available in the letter you received with this pack. *In organising your event for Guide Dogs you agree to abide by the Data Protection Act 1998, in relation to any information/data that is collected on our behalf. You must safeguard our walkers details and keep strict security standards to prevent unauthorised access. Pg.5

7 Dog capes The Dogs Unite team will send each of your participants their own dog cape once they have registered for your event, as well as sending some directly to you for any on the day registrations these will really make your walk stand out from the crowd! It is, of course, important that the dogs are comfortable and safe when wearing these. Please refer to the dog cape information sheet (online at dogsunite.org.uk) for guidance to follow your participants will also receive this information with their welcome pack. Event cancellation If you know that you ll need to cancel a few days before the event, please get in touch with us as soon as possible on or , (between 9-5pm, Monday to Friday) so we can let participants know. If on the morning of your event you need to postpone your walk due to unforeseen circumstances, informing your walkers at the start line is the best way. If you are unable to get to your venue on the day, you can also post a message on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dogsunite) Pg.6

8 Paying in sponsor money Some walkers may want to hand over sponsorship money on the day. Please use the pre-coded envelopes provided in your welcome pack to collect this. If you have a local Guide Dogs branch supporting the event you can simply hand the money to them. Please quote your unique event code (found on your welcome letter) so we can attribute the money to your event. Alternatively you can pay funds in online on your Just Giving page; by phone on ; or cheque into the Guide Dogs account. Whatever method you use, please quote your unique event code. Please return any leftover Dog Tags and Doggy Certificates to us within three days after your event, using the freepost address below: Guide Dogs Event Returns, Freepost DR83, Ashford, Kent, TN24 0BR. Please return any completed registration cards to us within three days of your event, using the pre-addressed envelopes provided with your welcome pack. Pg.7

9 Thank you for taking the time to organise a Dogs Unite event! You are officially a Guide Dogs hero! By organising a Dogs Unite event, you are not just raising funds for Guide Dogs but also vital awareness which is essential for the continued fundraising efforts of the charity. Thank you for your support, and enjoy your Dogs Unite event! Organiser comment: It was a lovely event and I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the day- everyone was in good spirits. Organiser comment: It s a hugely enjoyable event.

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