Set up an event
If you would like to organise an event to fundraise for Mental Health Ireland or your local Mental Health Association and you need a little help this event guide may be of assistance.
Planning an event
There are many types of events you can host or run to support Mental Health Ireland or your local Mental Health Association. By hosting an event you are raising awareness of mental health amongst your friends, families, community and peers.
You don’t need to be an event planner to organise an event. Here are some ideas of easy to organize events:
- Host a ‘Walk and Talk’ http://www.seechange.ie/return-of-national-lets-talk-and-walk-family-friendly-forest-walk-series-2/ or ‘Tea and Chat’ event.
- Host a positive mental health talk inviting the community to attend. Topics could include Mindfulness, Stress or Anxiety
- Host a quiz night in a local community hall
- Organise a football/hurling/ rugby blitz with your local clubs
- Produce Positive Mental Health displays for local schools, libraries, sports centres, hospitals and community centres.
Keep it safe
- If you’re hosting a public event it’s worthwhile conducting a risk assessment to plan for any eventualities that may arise.
- You need to think about accessibility and if you are covered by public liability insurance.
- You need to provide appropriate supervision for children and at-risk adults.
Raise some money
If you fundraise for Mental Health Ireland or your local Mental Health Association all money raised will go directly back into the promotion of mental health in your local community and nationally.
You need to ensure you are collecting funds legally and adhering to MHI’s event standards. Here is a brief outline of your obligations.
- You do not need a license to sell tickets for a raffle at a big event where the raffle forms a smaller part. You must sell the tickets and draw the prize at the event. This also applies to raffles to members of a local club, at private events or at work.
- You must apply for a license to your local council for large scale lotteries where you are selling tickets to the public.
- For collections in a supermarket, pub or shop seek the permission of the manager.
- Street collections require permission from the local council.
- Door-to-door collections require a permit from the council.
- You will need a license if selling alcohol at your event.
If preparing or serving food at your event please read these food safety guidelines from Safe Food
Here are some guidelines when approaching potential sponsors:
- Have a clear vision of your event and be able to explain it well including where all funding raised will be donated.
- We are happy to talk to any potential sponsors regarding your event and can be contacted on 01 284 1166
- Approach each sponsor with a specific ask. Detail what you would like from them and why.
- Ensure potential sponsors are compatible with your event and your goals.
- Think about which businesses might benefit from a partnership with you going forward and how you can add value to them.
- Identify successful businesses/ services in your local community including supermarkets, banks or sports groups who may have a charity fund.
Spread the word on social media
If you are hosting an event what better way to spread the word than over Facebook and Twitter to your social networks.
You can create an event page for your event on Facebook inviting your friends and also post updates to your page.
Use your local networks
Local schools, libraries, colleges, councils, community organisations and businesses may agree to promote your event on their websites, newsletters or noticeboards.
Remember, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know!
Contact your local paper and radio station with information about your event for their notice announcements.
MHI Area Development Officers are available for media interviews locally and will be pitched to local media in advance.
Happiness in kindness
A free kindness workshop where attendees receive a Kindness Journal to record their everyday acts of kindness.
Stress Less Fest
Teaming up with local sports, arts and crafts, music and dance professionals, host a workshop where participants learn of the mental health benefits of these activities helping them gain a holistic understanding of health and wellbeing.
Host events at schools and colleges where students can express their thoughts on mental health and wellbeing via art, music, dance, song, writing or drama. Put on an exhibition to showcase all the talent.
Take a walk about in your community with some helium balloons. Ask members of the public to write a worry of theirs on a tag, tie it to the balloon and release it. This makes for some great photos too so get snapping!
- If you do not have experience of dealing with mental health queries it would be a good idea to have someone on your team who has some experience in this area.
- Is there a requirement for some peer support in case someone attending needs to talk to someone?
Practice respectful communication
- Listen actively to what people are saying, trying not to draw comparison to your experience.
Know your boundaries
- Think in advance about what your boundaries are. What do you feel comfortable talking about? What do you need more information on? If you need to refer someone for support do you have that information to hand?
- Be honest about your limitations… it’s ok not to know everything.
Look after yourself and your team
- Get together before your event and develop a plan to relieve your team of their duties every hour for a break.
- Keep an eye out for each other at the event.
- Have one point of contact for any emergency that may occur and be sure to communicate who this person is and a contact umber for him/her.
- Finally, don’t forget to have fun yourselves!