Dementia Friends Champions: Ask your DFO

Ask your RSOEach 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,

What do I need to consider when delivering Information Sessions outside?


Dear Champion,

Fantastic that you’ve decided to deliver an Information Session outside! I’ve put some key things to consider below. If you have any questions please do feel free to contact your Regional Support Officer.

Private or public?
If you’re hosting a private Information Session outside with friends and family, then simply make sure you have organised it as usual and you’re good to go.

If you’re hosting a public Information Session outside you may need to check with your local council. Depending on what you’re doing, whether it’s just an Information Session or whether you’re hosting an event or involving food, you may need to complete an application. For more information please visit your local council’s website.

Do I need Public Liability Insurance?
Public Liability Insurance covers the organisers of an event providing them with financial protection if they are held to blame for injury to a person or for loss or damage to property and sued.

There is no law that says you must buy insurance for a private voluntary or community event – but you might want to make sure you are covered in case something goes wrong.

Sometimes another body, perhaps a local council or the landowner will require you to have public liability insurance if you’re holding an event there. If this is the case, get in touch with them, sometimes signing a disclaimer will be adequate.

Remember all public Dementia Friends Information Sessions must have Public Liability Insurance. The best thing to do is to contact your local council to double check, and if you have any questions please give your DFO a call.

Plan for your audience

If you’re hosting an event with a Dementia Friends Information Session make sure you’re clear on how people will get there.

• Give details of public transport and parking
• Do you need any signs to make it easier to find?
• Is the venue accessible for wheelchair users and people with other disabilities?
• Are there any toilets nearby?

Check the 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!

Food and drink

If you’re expecting a lot of people and would like to make a fun day of it, why not provide food and refreshments.
Please consider
• Labelling your foods. Let people know what it is, and be wary of any possible allergies. For example you could make signs saying ‘contain nuts’.
• Ensure that you wash your hands before preparing or serving food
• Keep the food simple – for example cakes, sandwiches or food cooked straight from the BBQ.

The Information Session itself

Think about your audience. If you’re holding a large Information Session outside the Bingo activity might not be ideal.

Equally think about the space you have. Can everyone see and hear you?

For information about how to adapt your session, and what materials you can use please check out our other top tips on the blog.

Most importantly have fun!

Our information session can be adapted to any environment – enjoy it! Think outside of the box and please get in touch with your DFO if you have questions.


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