Guidance on running events will include a 'myth-buster'

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, says the guidance, known as Can Do, will explode the myths that discourage people from staging events

Nick Hurd
Nick Hurd

The Office for Civil Society has said that its forthcoming guidance for volunteers on running events will include a ‘myth-buster’, designed to overcome misconceptions about volunteering.

Documents released alongside the Budget last week said the government would produce the guidance after a review by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found that existing guidance lacked clarity and was confusing for volunteers to use.

The OCS said its guidance, to be called Can Do, would be published in the autumn and hosted on

The publication will contain information on planning, health and safety, access issues, budgeting, booking and licensing, insurance and the use of public land. 

The guidance will also provide links to specialist information and advice for running sporting and other specialist events.

Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, said: "Organising successful community events is a lot easier to do than people think. The new Can Do guidance from the OCS will make it clear when licences and other permissions are needed and where to go for specialist guidance.

"It will set out in plain English how to plan successful and safe events and break the myths that discourage people from running them." 

The BIS’s Focus on Enforcement review found there was a lack of clear advice and little consistency in the guidance currently provided by central and local government bodies to volunteers who want to organise events.

It found that guidance often told organisers what they could not do, rather than what they could, which led to the perception that volunteer events are subject to greater regulation than is actually the case. 

It also found that additional burdens, such as the need for certain types of insurance, were sometimes imposed on events by third parties such as landlords.

After finding that some, but not all, local authorities charged for road closures, the review said the guidance should make it clear that volunteers can ask for justification for any charges they incur.

Stephen Peck, operations director of the Scout Association, said: "Everyone benefits if people organising community events to raise money for good causes know that the government wants to work with them, not put obstacles in their way."

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