Organising a company charity event is a great way to give back to the community and also an excellent way in which to build team cohesion. From cake bakes to mountain treks, there are a hundred ways in which employees can get involved. However, no matter how you decide to help, employee safety should always be the first concern.
The Importance of Privacy
First of all, in every case of employee fundraising in the UK, safety should be recognised as both physical and privacy safety. Organisers must recognise that everyone involved; employees, participants, recipients and sponsors or buyers, all have privacy rights, which must be secured. Any names, addresses, statistics or financial information must be collected, stored and discarded in line with current regulations. No individual should have the opportunity to collect and transmit this data to a third party.
Once you decide on your event, a simple risk assessment should be conducted to define any safety issues that could be reduced or eliminated. These assessments should consider the likelihood of accidents occurring both at the event and when travelling to the event.
For example, a team planning a fancy dress fun run could check that their costumes are not likely to cause accidents. They should decide how they will travel to the event and how they will get home. They could also commit to weekly practices that would help build fitness and make those who are less prepared for the run more aware of their limitations.
Likewise, a sponsored walk or bike ride should be planned in a safe area and during a suitable, not too hot and not too cold, season. Always prepare a suitable contingency plan or alternative date for when the unexpected happens. Without an alternative, participants might take on a ‘let’s do it anyway’ approach which could carry inherent risks.
For all events, preparations should be made for action in case of an accident or emergency. Having two first aiders nearby is always advisable and knowing where to go for professional help is essential. For larger events, organisations such as St John’s Ambulance can provide assistance.
Food safety is also another important element and if you decide to offer food to participants or for sale, the allergens and ingredients should be clearly labelled on each item.
Don’t Over Do It
It’s a wonderful thing that participants get so enthusiastic about fundraising, but it’s also important that someone keeps their sensible head on too. Some activities that are too competitive or against the clock can lead to unforeseen safety concerns. For this reason, avoid eating competitions, races or anything that involves holding your breath.
Respect Personal Attitudes and Boundaries
And finally, company fundraisers should be fun, but it’s important to remember that not everyone will want to take part. For some, it might simply be a case of shyness, but for others cultural, religious or ethical viewpoints might make the charity or the activity a no go. Always respect an employee’s choice to sit this one out.