Making your event safe

Why is this important?

Organising an event is a great way to bring communities together to fundraise for Versus Arthritis. However, given the many types of events - from quiz evenings to bake sales and sponsored walks - the fundraising regulators code of practice is very detailed in this area.

We have guidance to help you to run your event in a way that protects your supporters and Versus Arthritis.

What do I need to do when choosing a location for my event?

You must:

  • consider issues of equal access for all, even if an event is being targeted at a specific group of people
  • make sure the venue meets the legal requirements on health and safety
  • make sure the venue or location is fit for purpose, taking note of any restrictions
  • be able to justify any environmental effect the event might have.

Do I need to carry out a risk assessment?

Risk assessments are a way of recording the potential for things to go wrong at an event and what you can do to stop that happening. They’re a useful part of your event planning, often working as an event checklist. Some venues or insurers may ask to see a risk assessment.

Download our blank risk assessment template (Word doc, 124 KB).

You can call the Events team on 0300 790 0402 for support.

Health, safety and insurance

You must make sure that health and safety arrangements (e.g. medical cover and evacuation arrangements) are appropriate for the event and the country it’s held in. You should also check the maximum safe capacity for your event venue and if it has facilities for safely evacuating people with mobility issues.

What about insurance?

The regulations state that you must:

  • have in place any insurance policies required by law
  • make sure you have enough third-party public-liability cover in place
  • consider whether you should take out any other insurance cover (don’t assume that you’ll be covered by the insurance for a venue, such as a community centre).

It’s important to point out here that unless you’re part of a Versus Arthritis group or branch your event will NOT be covered by Versus Arthritis Public Liability Insurance.

There are a number of companies that offer insurance for charity events. You can find these on search engines or on some comparison websites.

Promoting your event

Any advertisement, poster or flyer for an event for Versus Arthritis has to state that we are a registered charity. You can do this by including our name and registered charity details on any materials that you produce in this format.

These are:

Registered Charity England and wales No 207711 Scotland SCO41156

The team at Versus Arthritis can give you plenty of help with producing posters, flyers and tickets for your event, ensuring they meet all the regulations.

Get the right licences and permissions for your event

If your event involves any form of entertainment, particularly if it involves the sale of alcohol, you must make sure that you have any permission or licences you need. Check with the venue or the licensing department of the local authority for the area in which your event is being held.

If you’ve been offered private property or land on which to hold your event, such as someone’s home for a bake sale or a field for a fete, you must check that you have the owner’s permission. It’s advisable to get that permission in writing.

You must not have more than the maximum number of people allowed to take part in an event under the relevant permission, licence or local conditions. This may lead to invalid insurance.

If you’re holding an event in the great outdoors, be sure to check the Countryside Code for that area.

Running and promoting sporting challenges

If any specialist equipment is needed by, or recommended for, anyone taking part, you must give a list to each team or person taking part in enough time for them to borrow or buy any the items. The list should say who is responsible for the kit and who it is suitable for.

If you use recruitment materials such as adverts in the press, that are designed to encourage people to take part in an event, you must not mislead readers into believing that their commitment would be limited to any minimum personal registration fee. That is to say that they’re expected to raise fundraising through sponsorship or other activities.

You must make sure that all marketing materials have accurate and clear details of the event and clearly state that the money raised will go to Versus Arthritis.

Driving to, or at an event

If your event involves participants driving as part of the event you must tell them to take rest stops and plan their journey in a way that recognises road safety, especially speed limits.

Preparation and eligibility for an event

If a certain age, level of fitness, preparation or training is necessary for a person to be able to take part safely you must agree this beforehand with the people involved.

Permission for someone to take part in an event

You must get any permission you need by law, for a person to be involved in an event, in writing before the event. This includes, where relevant, accepting legal terms and conditions and to protect health and safety. You should also consider the need for permission from a responsible adult for any events where the participants are under the age of 18.

Fundraising targets

You must make sure people taking part are aware in advance of any fundraising targets they’re expected to meet.

Cancelling an event and contingency plans

If you plan a fundraising event you must have a plan to cover all situations you could reasonably anticipate and make sure the people involved understand exactly what you expect of them. This includes a contingency plan of what to do if your event is cancelled. You can include this in your risk assessment.

On the day of your event

Use this checklist for your event:

  • Final checks
    Make sure everything is in place, especially fire exits, first aid and equipment.
  • Congestion and crowd management
    Checking evacuation process, and marshals and stewards where necessary.
  • Selling and trading
    It is advisable not to sell anything at your event as this has tax implications. You can however offer goods such as merchandise, cakes, etc in return for a suggested donation.
  • Safety standards
    You must make sure that any product being sold at the event meets relevant safety standards.
  • Events involving food
    Many fundraising events are going to involve the sale of food. You must make sure that any food being supplied meets Food Hygiene Regulations. If you’re involved in organising repeat events that involve food, it may be worth considering undertaking a food safety qualification. Ensure you have license to sell alcohol and display food warnings on allergens.

Cash handling

Keep safe when handling money by following these guidelines:

  • Do not leave unsecured cash unattended.
  • Count your money raised in a secure place not in the open.
  • Wherever possible, ensure all cash collected in counted and recorded by two unrelated people.
  • Ensure cash donations are collected in sealed containers/ collecting tins.
  • Open collecting tins yourself with another person unrelated to you.
  • Bank the money from collections as soon as possible by sending it to Versus Arthritis in the full amount without taking fees/expenses. You can bank money into your personal account and send a bank transfer or cheque to Versus Arthritis.

Lotteries, raffles and prize draws

If your event includes any form of raffle, lottery, prize competition or free draw for charitable purposes you need to follow any gambling regulations that may apply. For detailed information around the regulations that apply here, read running a raffle or lottery.

Collecting personal data

At any fundraising event you may be collecting personal data. Examples of this include:

  • capturing information on a registration form for a challenge event
  • recording people’s details on sponsorship
  • having someone’s name and phone number on the back of a cloakroom ticket for a raffle.

This is all personal data and as such has to be treated very carefully in line with a number of separate regulations.

As a charity we take the protection and processing of people’s data very seriously. Check out our privacy policy.

As a fundraiser you’re likely dealing with personal data. Only collect data you need, do not share this data and only keep the data for as long as you need it.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Only collect data you need.
  • Store data safely by keeping hardcopies in a cupboard and password protecting electronic copies.
  • Destroy data you don’t need.
  • Remove data upon request or in case of data of deceased individuals.

Protecting personal data ensures people can trust fundraisers to use their data legally, fairly and responsibly.

Certain special category data such as information about religion, race or health might have stronger protections. We see no valid reason for fundraisers to hold any special category data and we would ask you not to do this.