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Running your support group

Running an awareness stand for your group

This guide will provide you with more information about running an awareness event.

Organising an awareness event in your local area helps you to:

  • Make people aware that the group exists
  • Recruit new members
  • Make people aware of Asthma + Lung UK
  • Raise money to help fund the group

This guide will provide you with more information about:

  • choosing a date
  • choosing a venue
  • planning what will happen at the event
  • what you’ll need to take with you
  • things to remember on the day itself.

If this is your first time running an event you may decide to keep it as simple as possible. You might also like to think about taking part in a larger event where others are making most of the arrangements, and all you have to do is turn up with your display.

As your group gets more confident you may decide to do something on your own. Whatever you choose to do you just have to choose what is right for the group.

Choosing a date

The first thing to do is work out when you want to hold the awareness event.

Discuss within your group who would be willing to help out on the stand and which days are best for people to ensure that you have as many people helping out on the day as possible.

However sometimes you may have not much choice about the date. It may be the date is set as it’s a larger event, or it may be that the venue only has certain dates available. It’s up to you whether you fit in with dates that are given to you. Remember if the date doesn’t work for you – you don’t have to do it.

Choosing a venue

Your aim is to reach people who haven’t heard of your group or Asthma + Lung UK.

The most effective places to hold awareness stands are areas with a lot of people passing through such as shopping centres/precincts and supermarkets, or places where you know people with a lung condition are likely to be such as GP surgery, health centre or outpatients department.

You could consider joining in with a local community event and holding a stall there, as this event will have a lot of press and interest already. Are there any fetes, shows, local craft and food fairs, charity sporting events you can join?

Give yourself lots of time and book a few months before hand if possible, call them and speak to someone about holding a promotional stand for charity - is it free or is there a cost incurred? What dates and times are available?

The venue may ask to see the public liability insurance certificate which we can provide you with. If you’re holding your event outside you will need to contact your council to ask permission – or to find out whom else you may need permission from. 

Ask the venye to pencil in the date and check the following details before you confirm:

  • Does the council need an official letter from the group or us? 
  • What is the cost and when does this need to be paid? Is there a charity discount?
  • Are there any forms that need to be completed? When do they need to be back?
  • Can you collect money on the stand? Do you need any licence to do this?
  • Are you allowed to hand out leaflets? Do you need a licence to hand out information to people in the street/ area?
  • Are table and chairs provided with the stand space?
  • Is the stand space open or against a wall and can you display posters? Also are there restrictions on using a pull up banner or balloons?
  • What are the arrangements for parking and loading/unloading?
  • What time do you need to set up/dismantle by?

What will you need?

Create a list of things you will need, and agree who will bring them on the day. This might include@

  • A table, chairs or display stand, if not provided by the venue
  • Flyers, leaflets, and posters all about your group
  • Information about our helpline
  • Asthma + Lung UKt-shirts and fleeces to wear
  • Lots of red balloons to hand out
  • String, blu-tac, sticky tape, scissors, staple gun, red ribbon, pens, marker pens
  • Cash box with float if you're selling anything
  • A list of mobile numbers for all members and health professional attending
  • Photo ID badges – we can provide these free of charge.

Make sure you’ve agreed in advance who is bringing what on the day. You should also agree who will help you set up and pack away.

Once the stand is set up, make sure you’re as approachable as possible. If you’re all sitting round the back of the table chatting to each other, people will feel uneasy and not approach. Try to keep the stand as clutter free as possible – tidy away any tea and coffee cups and keep the leaflets replenished.

Remember to count and record the number of people you speak to.

The best advice is to smile, relax and enjoy it!