HOW TO… Run a regular activity at your Hub

Are you looking to run a regular activity at your Green Community Hub and get more people involved on an ongoing basis?  Finding out what activities are wanted or needed in the area by local people and organisations will help you build the foundations of a well-attended regular event. Then, raising awareness of your activity can help increase participation, recruit volunteers, and bring people together. Finally, ensuring you create a warm and welcoming atmosphere where individuals feel comfortable and listened to will support retention.

Our guide to helping you run a regular activity has been written by Hannah Wright, our Project Facilitator for Workington Green Community Hub. Hannah runs regular Gardening and Nature Journaling activities and you can find out more about them here…

Engage with the local community

Start by talking to local people and organisations to find out what the gaps are in provision, what barriers local people are faced with in terms of accessing services, what activities could be beneficial to the local area, and what will bring people joy, going to enhance skills and build resilience. Communicating with the right people and knowing the answer to these questions will enable you to design and deliver an activity that is wanted/ needed and therefore people are more likely to engage.

Choose a base

Once you have your feedback from the local community, link in with partners and choose a base location to hold the activity. Consider whether the activity will be indoors or outdoors and if outdoors, make sure you have thought about what to do in bad weather! You will also need to make sure that there are toilet facilities nearby and consider accessibility to ensure that your activity is accessible to all.

Ensure you have the right resources

Depending on what your activity is you will need to make sure that individuals taking part will have access to the necessary resources. You may need to provide them or you could ask a partner your working with or ask individuals themselves. Alternatively, you could look for a grant to provide funds to buy resources. You will then also need to consider storage options.

Carry out a Risk Assessment

Before running and activity, you will need to carry out a risk assessment. To do this, you will need to identify, evaluate, mitigate, monitor and review the risks. For more information on this have a look at our ‘How to write a risk assessment’ guide.

You will also need to make sure you have the correct insurance in place and ensure any partners you are working with, have a copy of your insurance documentation.

Promote your Activity

You are now ready to promote your activity. Start by defining your messages and creating some marketing materials that are targeted toward the individuals or groups you wish to attract. Use social media to reach a wide range of people, but also consider using other methods such as a ‘flyer drop’ in the local area or putting up posters in local businesses to ensure you reach those who aren’t online. See our ‘How to promote your Green Community Hub’ guide for further information.

Create a Welcoming and Friendly Atmosphere

Once you have your activity up and running, you should focus on creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere to ensure individuals feel comfortable. For a lot of people, joining a new activity, with individuals that they don’t know can be extremely stressful and can trigger anxiety. Get to know people, find out what they want to get from the activities, take a relaxed approach, and be flexible. You could consider a community-led approach whereby you act as an enabler rather than a leader. You will find most people have varying skill sets that they are super eager to share with others. Alternatively, depending on funding you could get someone with greater expertise in that specific area to deliver activities for you.

Be reliable and communicate effectively

Ensure you run activities when you say you will and if you are unable to be there, ensure there is cover or ensure effective communication to let people know if the activity is postponed and why.

Ensure Sustainability

Depending on your funding, your activity may have a limited time frame in which to run. Link in with partner organisations and make introductions between your groups early so that connections are made and awareness is raised of ongoing provision in your area. 

By following these, you can design and run an activity in your green hub that individuals are likely to want, need, enjoy, and return to on a regular basis.

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