What you need to know to run a Family Fun Day

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1 What you need to know to run a Family Fun Day Contents Finding a suitable site Risk assessments Staffing the fun day Volunteers, checks and training Funding the fun day Free and low cost sports, activities and workshops Publicity tips o Appendix A - Site Checklist o Appendix B Sample Risk Assessment o Appendix C Inside Track Funding magazine o Appendix D It doesn t have to be expensive! 1

2 Finding a suitable site A dedicated recreation ground or sports ground is perfect for a family fun day but any open green space will do. For success, we recommend it includes the following facilities: Access to toilets, including facilities for disabled people Access to running water Good site access (wide gate etc) to allow equipment to be easily taken on/ off and easy access for families with pushchairs or wheelchair users. Litter bins on site And preferably: Enclosed site Away from busy roads Indoor facilities available for wet weather Dog fouling bins on site Parking facilities On the day check the site for broken glass, litter, dog fouling etc. See appendix A Site checklist Risk Assessments Whatever you decide to do, whether it is a huge event for 100 families or a small event for 10 families, the games, crafts and activities need to be planned in advance and the event needs to be assessed for potential risks. As parents will be encouraged to come along to play with and supervise their own children, the risks are reduced to some extent. Families will be responsible for their own children and their safety whilst they take part. However, the organisation planning the event will be responsible for ensuring that the site is suitable, the activities are appropriate, set up correctly and that they are run safely to reduce the risk of accident, incident or injury. The assessment must look at the whole event and the potential risks or hazards to staff and volunteers, members of the public including children and to the environment. However, it doesn t need to be complicated! For people not used to carrying out a risk assessment, a sample has been included in this pack see appendix B. Think of each thing you want to do on the day and think of what could potentially go wrong. Think of the potential severity of it (1-5) for example: could someone end up going to hospital as a result? How likely is it to happen? (1-5) Someone being struck by lightening is not very likely.. Wet weather forcing the activities into the village hall is a possibility.. 2

3 Work out the risk by multiplying the severity by the likelihood this gives you the risk rate anything up to 10 is OK anything above that you probably need to re-think! You also need to think of a contingency plan what you will do to reduce the risk. I.E Hazard injuries during team games. A contingency to reduce this risk: Staff or volunteers supervise the game. Appropriate equipment used. Clear rules at the start of the game. Children given enough room to swing etc. Parents are advised to supervise their children at all times (printed on publicity and signs on the day). Have a first aider on site. Another example: The hazard is wet weather stopping the planned activity. A contingency: pre-arrange the use of a village hall or other indoor venue close by to use in case of rain. Prepare laminated signs to re-direct people or a volunteer (with umbrella!) to direct people to the new venue. Public Liability Insurance In case of serious accident, injury or incident, you need to ensure that the event is covered by Public Liability Insurance. All local councils will have this in place and most organisations working with the community should also hold this insurance. If you need to purchase insurance, this can be done simply by contacting a broker or searching online. 5, is the minimum recommended cover. Hiring in a workshop Any organisation you hire to provide a workshop, attraction or activity needs to have a risk assessment in place and their own public liability insurance. As part of your risk assessment, you should request copies of these in advance of your event to check they are in order. First aid It is recommended that at least one person in the staff team (or volunteers) has training in first aid. You should allocate an area for first aid and tell the staff team where it is and who to contact in case of a accident or injury. You should ensure the first aid kit is well stocked and ready for use. Any accident or injury should be recorded in line with your organisation s policy. Name and address, nature of injury, where injured and how it happened. Name of person administering first aid and if they went to hospital as a result. St John s Ambulance and the Red Cross can be hired to provide first aid personnel for community events at a reasonable cost. If in doubt about the extent of an injury, always refer the person to hospital or call an ambulance. Inform services about your event. In case of emergency, it is recommended that you inform the local emergency services of your event, especially if you are planning a large event or hiring in specialist equipment or attractions. This can be included in your risk assessment. 3

4 They may also be able to turn up and support your event with a fire engine or police car on site. Staffing and volunteers A family fun day does not need a large team of paid staff to be run successfully. One person does need to take the lead for the day, to be the main contact for volunteers and families, to hold the keys for gates or toilets and to ensure that any equipment etc arrives on time. It is recommended that they have current first aid skills. There are a number of options for staffing a fun day, depending on available budget in your local area. Option 1 Hire Agency staff with experience of working with children and young people to run your event. o These people can be hired for short periods of time and will arrive with CRB (Criminal Record Checks) in place. o They will need information about how the day is expected to run and any timetabled events / activities. o They should be able to run the sports and activities without extra intervention but you will need to provide all equipment! o They will cost a commercial rate, including any employment agency fees. One site offering qualified sports coaches is (Sevenoaks District Council dos not recommend this agency above any other external company offing employment opportunities) Option 2 Pool budgets to employ a part time staff team to cover a series of events o Work in partnership with other local Councils or organisations to employ part time staff to run a series of events covering each locality in the partnership. o A team of 4 or more staff can run an event, but one person will need to be the Team Leader. o All paid staff should be age 18 or over. o All staff should have some experience of working with children and families. If no experience, the lead organisation ought to arrange some basic training to cover child protection and safeguarding. o Part time staff will need to be employed by one organisation, with them being responsible for salary payments and any benefits/ tax etc. They would also be responsible for advertising jobs, organising interviews, requesting references and organising CRB checks. They would lead on any disciplinary action or other discrepancy. In the Zone part time staff previously employed by Sevenoaks District Council may be interested in this type of work over the summer holidays. A list of people is 4

5 available from Sally Ratchford in the Community Development team Option 3 If there is no budget to employ additional staff to run the event. o Parish Clerk or volunteer committee to take responsibility for planning the event, including opening up the site and providing equipment. o Volunteers from local youth clubs, church groups and voluntary organisations to run the event. (Parish Councils could provide volunteer expenses at their discretion.) o Note: It is important that there is a named person in attendance throughout the day representing the lead agency / parish council. He or she takes overall responsibility for the site, equipment and health and safety. Volunteers, checks and training Volunteers can come from a wide section of the community they don t have to have experience working with children but they do need enthusiasm, imagination and a sense of fun! People new to volunteering should be paired with an experienced volunteer or staff member and assist them. They should not be left on their own to run an activity or deal with individual children or families. They should register with the lead organisation and receive introductory training about the event and basic child protection, health and safety and safeguarding information. Criminal Records Checks People who work or volunteer frequently with children, young people, and vulnerable people should agree to an enhanced CRB (Criminal Records Check) check. The Criminal Records Bureau ( CRB ) provides access to criminal record and other relevant information to employers and licensing authorities in England and Wales. The results of the checks carried out by the CRB help organisations make more informed decisions when recruiting people to work with children and the vulnerable. New checks generally take around 4 weeks to process and cost around 20. An umbrella organisation such as Voluntary Action Within Kent (VAWK) can process these on your behalf. People who volunteer at a youth club, after school club, uniformed group (brownies/ cubs/ cadets etc) or Sunday school should already have a CRB check in place for the volunteering work they do at that setting. From February 2011, changes to the Vetting and Barring scheme mean that volunteers working on a one off event do not need a CRB check to take part and that CRB checks can be shared across organisations. 5

6 Training A basic knowledge of child protection and safeguarding is vital for people volunteering to work with children and young people. It is important that any organisation working regularly with children and young people puts in place arrangements that safeguard not just the young people but they volunteers/ staff as well. Child protection rules set out a way of working which safeguards all involved. It is recommended that you seek advice and guidance from experts to ensure you have the knowledge and appropriate policies in place. Visit for clear, up to date information and guidance. You can also download an Are They Safe? pack with sample forms, templates, checklists and FAQs. There are a number of organisations offering training and courses across Kent. Check on for low cost Basic Child Protection courses in April July Funding the family fun day A successful family fun day does not need to be expensive! If you have a team of willing volunteers to plan and run your event, a plan of low cost games, activities and crafts and make use of free advertising, you will be able to provide a fun day out for local children and their families at a very low cost. However, if you do need to access funding there are a number of places to look: Make a funding application Sevenoaks District Council s website lists current funding opportunities: living/2068.asp Kent 4 Community is another good place to start your search for funding. A copy of the latest Inside Track funding magazine produced by KCC is attached at Appendix D There is a wide range of funding bodies able to provide small amounts of funding for community events. Some funding is specifically available to community groups and so it may be worth linking with local groups in your parish or town to access more funding opportunities. However, to access funding in time for summer 2011, you will need to move quickly! 6

7 Pool budgets in your local area An alterative is to pool budgets with neighbouring councils (or more than one agency or community group) to put on one larger event or several small events. This way you can share the cost for staff, equipment and workshops. One organisation will need to take the lead and agree to administrate the budget for the group. Link in to existing activities A national initiative is Playday. Held annually each August, it aims to highlight the importance of children s play and encourages local groups and organisations to organise activities for children and families in their local area. Although there is no funding linked in with this, it could be that a local school, youth group, play group, children s centre, uniformed group or community group is already planning to run an event or is interested in getting involved. This year, Playday is planned for 3 rd August. Co-ordinated by Play England, Playday has been widely promoted and supported. Play England has prepared a free Play Pack with useful guidelines, information and advice on how to set up and run a successful event. They can also send out resources such as t-shirts, stickers, posters and flyers to help you promote your event and identify staff and volunteers. More information is available on their website Free and low cost sports, activities and workshops It doesn t need to be expensive for children to have fun! Some of the most popular games and activities cost very little to organise and use low cost or easily available equipment. Ask families and local schools, youth groups and play groups for their ideas and help. Ask children for their favourite thing to do outside that doesn t cost any money you may be surprised! Appendix E is a useful list of tried and tested, free and low cost activities and games you could try. Publicity We have proof that the best advertising is word of mouth and communities (especially Mums and children and young people) are great at getting the word out about events they are interested in attending! There are free options think about using a free events listing such as: Community Events Diary on Sevenoaks District Council s website living/community_events 7

8 The What s On listing on The school or parish newsletter or website Write a press release and send it to the local papers Advertise via social networking sites like Facebook However, you will also need some printed flyers or posters. There are some easy tips when thinking about publicity: Keep it simple Word Art and Clip Art may be colourful but do not make a good publications. Think of who you are trying to attract families and children aim it at them. Don t use too many words empty space is good. Clear font, large text and good contrast (e.g. green on a blue background is not easy to read.). People with a visual impairment find it hard to read words on a coloured or picture background consider limiting your poster to white text on black, black text on white or black text on yellow. Or use boxes for the text. Include the date, time and venue. Free or do people have to pay? Give special instructions like Parents must stay to supervise their children No need to book just turn up! Bring a picnic Bring cardboard boxes etc to make art on the day Include logos if people have helped you organise the event or provided funding Get someone else to proof read it for you before you print. Make sure you put a couple of posters at the park or recreation ground. Send it out at least 3 weeks in advance but no more than 5 weeks otherwise people tend to forget about it. 8

9 Green or red on blue is not easy to read check your colours! Yellow is much clearer but white is clearest. The font should be clear like Arial, Franklin Gothic Book or Comic Sans It should not be complicated or stylised such as Bauhaus 93, Curlz or Magneto On an A4 poster, the font size should be at least 12pt, with the Date, times and venue at least 26pt Free Family Fun Day! 11.00am 2.00pm Tuesday 2 August 2011 Which heading is easiest to read? Which bit will you notice as you drive past the notice board in the village? At Sevenoaks Recreation Ground Photos It s good to have photos of the event especially if you want to encourage people to get involved next year, but you must have permission before any pictures are included in publications. This includes your own newsletter, on websites, or in the local press. It is particularly important to recognise that some parents will not want their children photographed. If you want to take photos and / or you are expecting the local press to attend, then it is best to put up posters around the site warning people that photos are likely to be taken at the event. A press photographer should ask to speak to the person in charge before starting to take photos, so make sure that the local newspaper has a contact name for the day. 9

10 This guide has been produced by Sevenoaks District Council to give some guidelines about how to run a family fun day. It is not intended as a instruction manual and only gives recommendations about the way an event or activity could be set up. Sevenoaks District Council does not take any responsibility for any events, activities or programmes that may be set up as a result. February 2011 This guide is available in other formats and large print. Please contact the Communications Team on This publication can also be explained in other languages by calling Where appropriate this information can be printed in other languages. For more information and additional copies, please contact : Sally Ratchford Regeneration and Youth Manager Council Offices, Argyle Road, Sevenoaks, Kent TN13 1HG 10

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