Dementia Friends Champions: Ask your DFO

Ask your RSO

Each month, one of our DFOs (Dementia Friends Officers) answer your Dementia Friends Champions questions. Philippa Tree, DFO for London and North, answers this month’s question:

Dear DFO

I want to deliver a unique session for your #DoSomethingNew campaign for Dementia Awareness Week. What do I need to consider when running Sessions in unusual places such as outside? Anonymous Champion

Dear Champion,

Great question and fantastic that you’re getting on board with our #DoSomethingNew campaign!

We want as many people as possible to deliver information sessions during Dementia Awareness Week – that way we can really get the word out there, raise people’s understanding and make a positive impact to those affected by dementia.

Speak to your DFO
If you’re planning to deliver a session in an unusual place (amazing!) but are unsure on what to do please contact your DFO. They are your first point of call and will be able to help you with any queries you have.

Perhaps you want to deliver a session on a bus, on a boat or at a yoga class? Find out what the capacity is. You want to make sure that it is safe for all.

Once you know the capacity for the venue, set this as your maximum for attendance. If you’re advertising your event online and through word of mouth etc, it might be worth setting the maximum online as a little less than the capacity. You then have some room for people who show up on the day from your other methods of publicity.

Think about your audience
Is the venue difficult to get to? Will they have to stand for the duration of the session? Make sure to put this information online when you promote it. That way people know what to expect and can plan accordingly. Equally think about signposting on the day so people can find it!

Outside sessions
If you’re delivering a session outside I would recommend making this a private session for your friends and family.

If you make the session public it can get a bit complicated with regards to public liability insurance and getting permission from your local council. You can find out more information about holding public events outside on your local council’s website.

Check the weather
Ahh our unpredictable weather! If you’re running a session outside it’s worth preparing for our traditional English rain. Have a plan B, whether it’s having a nearby sheltered area or bringing umbrellas!

Most importantly have fun! Our information session can be adapted to any environment.

Think outside of the box and as usual please abide by the standard policies, and health and safety requirements. If you have any questions please get in touch with your DFO.

Philippa Tree
Regional Support Officer, London

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