Your Questions Answered: “How can I make sure that residents are involved before, during and after an event – rather than just being a passive participant?
Helen Johns, lead trainer on our Activity Coordinators’ Training Course, says: “A great question, it’s lovely to get residents involved wherever you can and an event provides a lot of opportunities for activities over a long course of time, and also, for them, a sense of achievement and working towards a goal, which is so important for us all to feel fulfilled.
I’ve chosen three events but please feel free to adapt the ideas to your upcoming events.
Event 1: The Fayre (Summer, Christmas etc.)
Before: Residents could create posters, produce entrance tickets, sell advance raffle tickets, bake cakes, collect and label tombola prizes, make bunting, prepare plants, flowers or sweet jars to sell.
During: Residents could help set the stalls up, ‘man’ the stalls, draw the raffle winners, serve drinks, sell items, provide music/entertainment (e.g. the choir)
After: Residents could help with cleaning up, choose how funds are spent, help plan next event.
Event 2: The Outing (e.g. to a pub for lunch)
Before: Residents could decide on the venue, print off and distribute menus, decide on what they might like to eat in advance, decide on their outfits, invite friends or family.
During: Residents could assist those who are less able, go to counter to order food, pay for their own food, take photos of the day out, enjoy a sing-along on the mini-bus.
After: Discuss what they enjoyed about the outing, look at photographs, plan the next outing.
Event 3: The Celebration (Resident Birthday party)
Before: Residents could design a poster or invitations, create a menu, select the music for the event, decide on what activities will form the celebration (party games, singing etc), make gifts to share, make cards.
During: Residents could serve refreshments, lead the ‘party games’, take part in a sing-song, take photographs.
After: Residents could discuss what they enjoyed about the celebration, help with tidying up, look at photographs taken, plan the next celebration.
Many of the ideas are interchangeable between the events and I’m sure you can come up with lots of additional ideas. A few questions that may help you to plan are:
- How can I build up the anticipation and excitement around this event?
- How can I get people involved at various stages?
- How can I use residents’ skills, talents and abilities to contribute to the event?
- How can I assist, encourage and enable people to engage in the event in a way that is comfortable for them?
- How can I make sure the good feeling generated by the event lasts afterwards?
Helen Johns is the lead trainer for The Daily Sparkle Activity Coordinator Training and has been developing and delivering our courses since April 2017. As well as working for The Daily Sparkle, Helen runs an activity coordinator forum in her local area, provides training and consultancy for care homes in relation to activity and wellbeing and works as an ‘Expert by Experience’ for CQC inspections. You can find details of all upcoming our training courses here.