A toolkit for planning and organising Parish or Diocesan Events and Groups for Adults.
1. Starting out
Make sure the venue is appropriate for the group or event. This includes places that are open to the public e.g. theatre, eating place.
Consider the day of the week and the time slot that the group or event is intended for and any issues which may arise from them, such as ease of travel. Set the proposed timescale and give yourself as much time as possible to organise the event.
Identify the aims of the group or event. There may be a need to make additional provision for some participants, so ensure that people with the appropriate skills are available. Set a realistic number that can attend and be prepared to say ‘no’ to people.
Decide on the activities to be held and look at any possible risks that may arise. If an event/group is held on church premises it will be covered by the general Diocesan insurance. If this is an offsite event, or if you have any doubts, check with the insurer.
Complete a CaSE 2 form. Pass to the Parish Priest or person in charge of the event for authorisation.
2. Policies and Specific Requirements
Make people aware that photographs/filming may be taken during the course of the event.
3. Risk Assessment
Your risk assessment will be the key document to ensure the safe planning of the event or group. It involves carrying out a careful examination of each activity in a group/event and recording the findings. This also helps you think through and plan for different roles, responsibilities and measures to put in place for the well-being and protection of those at the group/event. For events that are held on a frequent basis and in the same venue the assessment may be annually.
The risk assessment should identify the minimum number of volunteers/leaders required who have the appropriate skills required to assist adults who may have specific needs e.g wheelchair users, breathing aids, administration of prescribed medication. Ensure that all volunteers/leaders have been safely recruited (role description, completed application, references and relevant DBS (formerly CRB) check. All those involved in the event must be aware of safeguarding guidelines and competent to undertake their role.
Further details and advice are available from the parish safeguarding representative or diocesan Safeguarding Office. The latest copies of policies and procedures approved by the Bishops’ Conference and the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission (NCSC) are available in full at www.csasprocedures.uk.net..
5. Incident Reporting
Record details of all incidents, names of those present at the incident, the nature of any harm, treatment given and any other action taken and forward them to the Safeguarding Co-ordinator.
Complete a CaSE 6 form
6. Catering (where applicable)
Ensure all food hygiene guidelines are followed. It would be good practice for at least one leader to have the Food Hygiene Certificate. Make sure that allergies and other dietary requirements are catered for.
7. Transport (where applicable)
Drivers should have a full driving licence, be in a fit state to drive and have appropriate car insurance cover. There should be a non-driving escort as well as the driver. When hiring transport accessibility must be taken into account. Similarly when using public transport.
8. Weather Conditions
If the event is outdoors ensure there is a contingency plan for difficult weather conditions.
People may have medical or physical conditions that are not obvious and also not public knowledge. With this in mind event leaders/organisers should give as much detail as possible about what is involved when advertising an event: e.g. walking distance, stairs and no lift, rough terrain.