Event planning - making events happen in your community can give you a real buzzYou might be interested in setting up and delivering a community project or event, or getting involved with one that’s been arranged by someone else. Making events happen in your community can give you a real buzz.

The list is endless but here are some popular ideas:

  • Clean-ups and litter picks
  • Refurbish a village, community or school hall
  • Arrange outings for the elderly or children’s groups
  • Cake bakes, charity challenges, raffles, coffee mornings, walking clubs, fun days, street festivals

Where do I start?

Community activities and events need careful planning. Make sure you’ve got everything covered, particularly when it comes to health and safety.

Here are some key steps to get you started:

  1. Appoint an event organiser
  2. Get permission to use the land, if required
  3. Obtain any licences you require
  4. Create an event plan
  5. Undertake a risk assessment
  6. Agree staffing, including any stewarding
  7. Arrange insurance cover
  8. Consider food safety
  9. Consider the noise level
  10. Establish if you need a Performing Rights Society licence
  11. Organise a debrief or review to get feedback on the event

Sample event plan

If you’re arranging an event, a plan is vital. It’s essential you tailor the event plan to your specific event. Here’s a basic outline.

  • Management structure – key staff: names, contact details and responsibilities before the event and on the day
  • Event description – what the event is, when and where it will take place
  • Event location and times
  • Anticipated numbers – how many people you expect to attend
  • Production schedule* – what building or installation (stages, music equipment, market stalls) will happen, who’s doing it and when.
  • Full method statement; risk assessment; and copy of insurance certificate – how everything will be achieved, the risks, and how you'll mitigate against them. Include copies of your relevant insurance documents including those from each supplier / participant. 
  • Site plan* – detailed plan showing the fixed buildings and structures plus any temporary structures that will be involved in your event plus parking and access / exit points.
  • Toilet provision* – location and numbers
  • Emergency procedure and evacuation* – outline how you'll deal with an emergency.
  • Event control and communication* – how you'll communicate with people attending including staff and volunteers. 
  • People management including stewards* – provide details of numbers, locations and timings.
  • Transport management* – how you'll deal with traffic, parking and keep people safe.
  • Medical provision* – provide details of any ambulance locations or first aid points. You should also document your nearest hospital with an A&E department.
  • Lost children* – include details of your procedure to identify lost children; find them and secure the site etc.
  • Communications and marketing – how you'll tell people about your event and encourage them to come along etc – see the how to market your event page for more help.

*It’s important to discuss the event or activity with the Council and venue or landowner as they may have standard procedures or guidelines and if they don’t they'll be able to share what's worked well or not worked in the past.

Keep a spreadsheet or other way of recording all the tasks that need to be completed, whose responsibility they are and when they should be done. By reviewing this regularly, you should be able to keep your event on track.

Further information

  • Contact your local council who should be able to provide a step-by-step local event guide explaining what you need to do and the documentation you need to provide or complete.
  • Contact the venue where your event is taking place. They may have held similar events in the past and may even have an events person or team who’ll be able to provide useful guidance.
  • Read the Health and Safety Executive's event safety guides
  • The UK Government guide on organising a voluntary event or engage with government directly

If you’re particularly interested in getting involved with a clean-up project, it’s also worth
contacting one of the national Keep Tidy / Beautiful organisations:

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