Practitioner FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any resources already produced that I can use?

YES. We have community activity resources on this website which you can download for free via our resources page.

Ask parish councils or local authorities as well as utilities and relevant charities for ‘freebies’.

How do I decide what activity would be best for my community?

There are many ways to reach out to communities. First of all, think about what you want to achieve and who you are targeting your activity at. Talk to representatives from the people you intend to target and/or try to put yourself in their place and consider what you would respond most positively to. Take a look at our experiences and resource section for a little more inspiration.

Which other agencies or groups should I involve?

Consider whether your activity would have any relevance or benefit to other groups. So for instance if you’re running an energy efficiency bingo session for an over 60’s group you might want to consider whether a local older people’s agency would like to be involved and to tell them about your services. Be careful though not to dilute your messages by including too many or irrelevant topics.

Can I provide 1:1 advice to householders?

Fuel poverty can often be a complex problem and there may be a range of different actions that can be taken to improve the circumstances of a householder. To do this effectively requires training and experience so NEA would strongly recommend that you refer any householders who require in-depth, personal advice to a local advice agency.

To find out more about Nea's Training Courses follow the link!

What else do I need to consider as part of the activity?

As well as organising the main activity you also might want to consider the following;

Signing in sheet: if you want to know who attended. If you think you might want to keep in touch with people, ask for their telephone number or email address but let them know why you are asking for this information and don’t share their details with anyone else.

Name badges: for attendees and organisers so that you all know who’s who.

Evaluation: if you want feedback on how well the activity went, how much people learnt, what they will do differently as a result of your activity etc.

Refreshments: depending how long your activity lasts, who is coming and whether you have a budget. Note: hot soup goes down well in winter months!

Assistance: don’t underestimate how busy you could be on the day. If you can get someone to assist with general tasks such as meeting and greeting your attendees, checking venue arrangements etc. then do so.

Signposting: If your activity is being held in a centre or large building, put up posters to clearly signpost your attendees to your activity.

Particular needs: be aware of any cultural, personal or disability needs of your attendees.

What’s the best way to get people to attend?

To get good attendance at your activity, it’s always best to make it as convenient as possible for people, so consider taking your activity to them e.g. ask for some time at a regular group meeting, set up a stall at the place they meet. If that’s not possible then make sure you consider the location, day, date and timing of your event to avoid clashes with other activities and/or convenience – there’s little point in running an activity for working families during the day when most people are at work.

Promote your event using posters, leaflets, email, local newsletters and using any local contacts you have. Make it very clear why people should attend / what’s in it for them, and that’s it’s free to attend. If you’re able to provide refreshments, tell people in advance as it helps increase attendance.

If you think your activity may be oversubscribed e.g. if there is limited space in the room you will be using, then ask people to register their interest. You can keep track of the numbers that way or organise for people to come during certain time slots if appropriate.

Make the most of other existing events and run your activity there!

Also consider;
  • • Running your activity on market day when people more likely to be in town
  • • Offering incentives – food voucher, raffle, tombola
  • • Making sure it’s easy to park, walk to or on a bus route
  • • Booking out the venue used for weekly coffee mornings well known to local people e.g. in Town Hall
  • • Letting people know if there’s likely to be free refreshments
  • • If there's plenty of footfall at your venue, borrowing an A board and advertising the event on the board outside for a week
  • • Making sure that there are chairs with arm rests or tables to lean on so people who are less mobile can get up or down from chairs.
  • • Running an event twice in one week at the same venue. That way people who can only stop by briefly early in the week have an opportunity to come back later and people who receive good advice at the first session often tell their friends to come along to the second one.