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Feeling Connected Organisers' Toolkit

Your practical online guide available any time you need it

 

Includes valuable information, how to guides, best practice, top tips
and links to further support

 

Many of the top tips are based on real-life questions and experience from new and existing organisers.

Our aim is to keep it simple so it's easy to find what you need

For more tailored guidance, join the Neighbourhood Organisers' Programme here>

About this Toolkit

 

1. This Toolkit is designed to support organisers of INFORMAL groups. Whilst much of the content may be helpful for all types of groups, the legal section in particular ONLY applies to informal groups

 

Check if your group is informal >

 

2. General Guidance - The content here is provided as a general guide and isn't meant to represent individual advice.  For individual guidance, we offer free one to one mentoring as part of the Neighbourhood Organisers' Programme.  Find out more here>

3. External Links - some sections contain links to external sources of information, Most of the links are to official sites and we will review this toolkit periodically to ensure links .  However in all cases we do not take responsibility for the accuracy of content provided by external sources. . 

Money Matters>
Inviting People to Join
Making the most of your Resources
Supporting your group members
Taking care of yourself
Promoting Your Group

Once you're clear about the who, what, why, when and where of your group, it's time to get the word out there and invite people to join in.

The more people that know about your group, the more people can benefit - sharing is caring!

It's very common to feel nervous when you first start reaching out and going public (or even further down the line!).  You're not alone and it's OK to feel this way.  Don't let it hold you back - speaking to your Feeling Connected Mentor or other organisers that have been where you are can really help!

Here are some ways you can promote your group, both online and offline. 

 

Remember you don't need to do ALL of these things! In fact, starting small and keeping is simple, especially in the beginning or when learning something new, is highly recommended!

Small ways to start:-

  • Popping a poster or leaflet through your neighbours' doors can be a really effective way to reach those who are offline or who may not be getting get out very much. 

 

  • If you are organising something for your street or estate, reaching out to a few neighbours can be a great way to begin.  It allows you to test things out without the pressure of hosting a larger gathering for the first time.  Bonus - those that come along may be willing to help you promote and even organise the next time!

  • If you're doing something that is open to people from a wider area, posting on social media and asking family and friends to share can be a great way to get the ball rolling

 

  • If you have a wide area to cover, delivering or displaying  posters and leaflets does take time and effort - ask for help from your friends, family or others you know if you can - and once you've got started ask those who join in to help spread the word too.

Posters and Leaflets

 

Designing a Poster

You don't have to be a graphic designer to create an eye catching poster or leaflet.  Many organisers use free online tools that have customisable templates - just add your information, images and logos then download and print or share both on and offline

What to include on your Poster

  • Name of your group or event

  • Date

  • Time

  • Location including post code

  • Contact or booking details

  • Images/graphics​​

  • Logos

  • QR Code

Use the Feeling Connected Logo - Making Your Group Feel Inclusive

You can find a range of Feeling Connected Logos in the Feeling Connected Toolkit File here

Templates, Images and Graphics

There are free online tools you can use without needing a copyright licence online

  • Canva has lots of free, ready-made and customisable templates.  It also has many free images, graphics and other elements that help you quickly and easily design a range of promotion materials from scratch canva.com>

  • Search for Canva for Beginners on You Tube for free tutorials

  • Unsplash also  has a great selection of free images unsplash.com>

QR Codes

QR codes can be useful on printed posters or anywhere that you want to provide a direct ink to an online information.  There are many free QR code generators online - some require a subscription so do check! 

Here is one recommended by one of our Feeling Connected Family organisers 

Although QR codes are increasingly popular, many people still aren't comfortable using them or may not have a smartphone to scan them -  so make sure your Poster works for those people too.

Printing

  • We offer a free printing service for members of the Neighbourhood Organisers' Programme.  ​

    • 125 A4 sheets per quarter

    • A5 posters will be printed 2 per A4 page

    • Colour printing as standard

    • Collection from The Hub@Low Pavement in Chesterfield unless otherwise arranged

    • At least 10 working days notice required

    • To arrange please email james@dva.org.uk

  • For larger scale printing or non A4/A5 formats etc, look for print shops local to you.  You can use your 'I can do that' funding to help cover costs

Where to display your printed Posters

  • Community spaces

  • Outdoor notice boards

  • Local Supermarket boards

Sharing Your Posters Online

  • Use Social Media to Connect with Your Community

    • Join local Facebook Groups - not only to promote your group but to build relationships and find out what else is going on to support your community

    • Let the Feeling Connected Family know about your group so that they can share to their own social media profiles/pages or group

  • Send Invitations and Updates through Email and include your Poster

Don’t Forget Those Who Are Not Online!

  • Get People Talking - Word of Mouth Works Wonders

  • Make Friends with Local Spaces and Other Groups

  • Reach Out to Your Neighbours

  • Be Seen and Heard - Local Press and Radio

  • Have a Plan - to make sure you're focussing your efforts in a way that works for you (your time, skills, resources) and for your group goals and community needs.  Your Feeling Connected Mentor can help you with the specifics of your promotion plan including: - help to design a poster or leaflet, give feedback on any promotion materials you. create, work with you to decide how best to reach out to people to invite them to join in, connect you with others who may be able to support you in your local community

  • Take Action - start small and keep going to avoid getting stuck in the planning stage, overcome any worries about failing or trying to get it perfect

  • Mind your Mindset - stay open and curious - treat your promotion plan like an experiment - review often to see what works and what doesn't.  Finding out how people heard about your group when they join can help you understand what is working.

  • Ask for help, encouragement and feedback - Your Feeling Connected Mentor, The Feeling Connected Workshops and Social Events along with the Feeling Connected Family private Facebook group are all great sources of feedback, encouragement and support related to promoting your group. 

Top Organiser Tips

Be clear about why your group exists and who it's for, this will make it a lot easier to decide how best to reach out to people

Start with what you feel comfortable with - you don't have to know or be good at everything to get started - and if you let all the 'coulds' and 'shoulds' get in the way, you'll never do it

 

Experiment and learn as you go - you'll only know what kinds of promotion work best when you start taking action.  You can learn new skills if you need to - or even better get others involved with the skills you don't have!

Build relationships with other organisers,  local community spaces or organisations who may come into contact with the people you'd like to join your group - once people know what your group is about, they can really help to spread the word.  Joining forces with others is always a good idea!

Be patient - it takes time for people to become aware of your group

 

Be persistent without being pushy - everyone is different and some people may need more time than others to feel comfortable enough to join in. Ask if they would like you to invite them again another time. And if someone gives you a firm 'no thank you', respect that

Manage your expectations - group numbers can and will vary! Don't let it put you off - keep going and value those who do join in

Legal Stuff

This Toolkit is for INFORMAL groups.  Please speak to your Feeling Connected Mentor if you need more individual guidance to determine what applies to your group

 

View and download more detailed information, including any associated templates, in the Feeling Connected Toolkit Files here

Collecting, using and storing personal information (Privacy Policy and GDPR)

This advice is applicable to volunteer organisers and informal volunteer-led groups who want to organise small gatherings and activities.

 

There is no legal requirement for an informal community group to have a Privacy policy.  However we recommend that you use this guide to create a simple Privacy Statement and a procedure to follow which explains to your group participants why and how you may collect and hold their data.

Go to the Feeling Connected Toolkit Files for the detailed guide and Privacy Statement template

 

The Data Protection Act 2018 is the UK’s implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) you can find out more here 

Assessing and Managing Risk

Health and Safety

Safeguarding

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