Get organised - retirement homes and assisted living communities

Once you decide that you want to hold a World Animal Day event, the months will pass like days so it’s important to start work on your plans early.

A few points to consider:

  • Ask residents for their feedback on which types of activities they’d like to take part in on World Animal Day. The success of the event depends on their enthusiasm!
  • Decide on several activities of various levels and types, so that everyone can participate in some way.
  • Sort through your arts and crafts materials and make a list of required supplies. Residents could help with this.
  • It’s important to plan ahead to ensure that you have all of the equipment and supplies you need, especially if you need to appeal for free items.
  • Make sure that you have all of your printed materials ready for the day – lyric sheets, quizzes, etc.
  • If you add a bird-feeding station for World Animal Day, set it up a few weeks before October 4. It takes birds a while to become regular visitors and you don’t want your residents to be disappointed on October 4! If you don’t have a budget, ask around – some local craftsmen make their own bird tables etc. Perhaps one of them would donate a feeder in return for his details being displayed on your notice board?
  • If you make a section of your grounds wildlife-friendly, you could also do this in advance, so that it will be well ‘lived-in’ before World Animal Day. When an area is popular with wildlife, some people set up night vision motion-activated cameras. Many animals are nocturnal, so this would allow residents to still view overnight activity in your wildlife area.
  • Ask around to find out if there is an amateur musician, pianist etc. who might be willing to volunteer at a singalong.

General suggestions:

Whatever you decide to do, plan well in advance. The more planning you do, the less likely you will have unforeseen hitches and disruptions on the day.

  • If you’re fundraising for a charity, shelter, etc., ask them well in advance if you can hold an event for them. Involve them as much as possible in your planning. They may well have fundraising expertise that could prove invaluable to you. They might also be able to supply you with badges, stickers, etc., that you could sell at your event.
  • Keep an eye on the ‘countdown clock’ on the World Animal Day home page to check how much time you have left to get organised!
  • Remember to always check with any relevant managers before organising an event.
  • Check if any other events are being held on the same day in your area. If an activity clashes, choose a different day so that you don’t lose your potential audience.
  • Request your FREE 3’x5’ World Animal Day logo flag in plenty of time, especially if you are not in the UK. (You must register and add your event to the website before requesting your flag.)
  • Arrange for someone to take photos or video during the event. Afterwards, we ask that you add a short report to the website about successful it was and inspire others to get involved next year!

Depending on the scale of your event, you might also need to consider the following:

  • budget
  • road closures
  • parking, possibly including attendants
  • access for emergency services
  • venue capacity and restrictions
  • access for people using wheelchairs
  • necessary equipment, to borrow or hire
  • risk assessments
  • insurance
  • first aid, especially for sporting events
  • toilet facilities, including cleaners if it will be very busy
  • security
  • power generators
  • regulations regarding food preparation, storage, serving and labelling
  • alcohol licensing
  • noise restrictions
  • entertainment licensing, including public film screenings and music licensing
  • litter picking and waste disposal
  • temporary signs directing people to the venue, if it isn’t in an obvious location