Tips for publicising your group
- Ask members to tell friends and neighbours – word of mouth is the most effective publicity! Remind and encourage members to do this regularly. Do you have an elevator pitch to describe your group in 20 seconds? You could practise in pairs telling people about the group.
- Ask members to help distribute any leaflets or posters – Some suggested places are libraries, children’s centres, community centres, leisure centres, GP surgeries, supermarket noticeboards, local shops, and housing block entrances
- Ask members how they heard about the group so you know what publicity works best and therefore what to concentrate on
- Network with other local groups and forums in order to raise your profile and remind people
- Plan a publicity strategy for the year ahead
- Find out about local festivals and book a stall
- Complete our GROUP INFO – Blank Template, return it to us and we’ll circulate it to over 100 people who signpost Lewisham residents
- Use social media if your members are on it
- Tips on attracting men: http://www.ageingbetterincamden.org.uk/latestnews/2021/1/12/report-working-with-older-men
- Tips on attracting new people, particularly people who don’t usually join groups, written for older people but relevant to all ages: http://www.ageingbetterincamden.org.uk/outreach
Warm Welcome: A free guide to running activities with older people.
Publicity and attracting new members is a start– but you also need to keep them! Older people (and others) we meet continually tell us how important the the welcome they receive is when visiting a new group. A warm welcome is essential to encourage new people to take part in activities and remain connected in their communities.
This toolkit supports groups to make their attendees feel welcome: http://www.ageingbetterincamden.org.uk/warm-welcome-approach
If you’re short of time, download the Warm Welcome toolkit summary and video.
Recruiting volunteers – Tips
- The best way to recruit volunteers is by word of mouth – ask everyone you know or meet if they are interested or if they know anyone who could be interested. Ask your members to do the same.
- Another excellent idea is to fill out Lewisham Local’s online form for recruiting volunteers. They send a newsletter to 4,300 people interested in recruiting volunteers and have a searchable website HERE
- Next Door is worth using, especially if you have members living locally who can share the message in the numerous hyper-local areas.
- Team London at the GLA claims a community of 150,000 volunteers you can reach HERE.
- Social Work student placements, University and College placements – e.g. Greenwich, Goldsmiths, Lewisham College. Email email@example.com for details
- REACH is a good way to recruit experts, e.g. web, marketing, social media, Trustees and much more
- Goodsted is recommended for specific skills such as designing a logo, generally by remote volunteering.
- Be On Hand is good for employee volunteering:
- Catbytes IT Hib recently had success recruiting several volunteers from a free ad on Indeed.
Several companies offer online DBS checks and these are generally cheaper and faster. Two companies used widely by the voluntary sector are:
Care Check: https://www.carecheck.co.uk
Another option is for a volunteer to request a basic DBS check themselves for £18 through https://www.gov.uk/request-copy-criminal-record
*It’s good practice for organisations to reimburse the cost of DBS checks – volunteers should not be out of pocket.
Below is a list of free downloadable Information Sheets. These are designed to be helpful resources for existing and newly developing community groups:
Policies and Procedures Checklist
Complaints Procedure (one page template for groups)
Evaluation – Pictorial measures
Risk Assessment (e.g. for a drop-in or lunch club)
GROUP INFO – Blank Template (please fill in/update your group details and send back to us)
GAPS REPORT 2022 – Find out what community and social support is currently missing in Lewisham