It’s important that your event is safe and that you’re aware of any legal issues. You will then be able to relax on the day and enjoy yourself.

Risk assessments:

If you are organising your own event, carrying out a risk assessment is the best way to make sure your event is safe and secure. It doesn't have to be complicated – it just means checking practical, common-sense things. You will need to check the venue/location and make yourself aware of any potential hazards and put things in place to minimise any risk

Risk Assessment Checklist

First Aid:

If you are having more than 50 guests you may need a trained first aider at your event – the ratio depends on what type of event you are organising. Please check with your local authority what the requirements are or you can get advice from a professional medical company like St John’s Ambulance or the Red Cross.


  • the number of people attending
  • what the weather is likely to be like
  • type of event and risk involved
  • type of people, including their ages
  • how long the event lasts
  • location and type of venue
  • how near is it to local medical facilities

If you are hiring a staffed venue for your event, they may already have this covered so please check this with them.


You will need to take out Public Liability Insurance cover for your event if it involves the public. If you are holding your event at a venue, check with them if they already have insurance that covers your event.

Should you wish to be covered for personal injury insurance, we would strongly recommend that you consider taking out your own personal insurance cover for personal accident benefits.

Selling and handling food:

Food safety laws apply when food is available at an event whether it is for sale or not. Check out references and/or qualifications of suppliers - e.g. if caterers or food suppliers have the relevant food hygiene and environmental health certificates and Public Liability Insurance. If you are preparing food yourself The Food Standards Agency has the latest advice for individuals, charities and community groups who want to prepare and sell foods to fundraise here.


Some venues will already have a licence to sell or supply alcohol. However, if you are using an unlicensed venue and plan to serve alcoholic drinks, you may need a temporary events notice. Please ask your local authority about how to apply for one.


Different types of raffles have different rules. The easiest way to avoid running into any problems is to follow these basic rules:

  • Only sell tickets to guests at your event.
  • Do not spend more than £250 on raffle prizes. If they are donated, you do not have to include their value.
  • Do not offer any cash prizes.
  • Draw the raffle at the event, with the top prize being the first one you draw.

If, however, you are planning to sell tickets prior to your event, then please contact us, or visit for guidance, as different rules will apply.

Public collections:

Holding a collection in a public place can be a great way to raise funds. However, you will need to ensure you get the appropriate permission/licence before you collect. Always ask/apply well in advance as it can sometimes take a long time to get a date confirmed.

Here are some guidelines to help you fundraise responsibly: 

  • Street collections – If you are holding a collection in a public street, you will need to obtain a licence from your local authority (or Metropolitan Police if in London).
  • Private collections – If your collection is open to the public but being held on private property such as within a shopping centre, pub or rail station, you must obtain permission from the landowner or manager.
  • House-to-house collections – Collecting door-to-door is a little more complicated to organise. To make sure you are all above board and legal, you will need to obtain a licence from the relevant local authority. However, with this kind of fundraising, there are also extra regulations that will need to be put in place, such as having an identification badge, a letter of authority etc. For more information please contact us on [email protected]  or call 0116 464 5490 and press option two (all)  and then option one (fundraising and communications).
  • Collecting tins – If you would like to place one of our collecting tins somewhere, perhaps in a shop or at work, please contact us for more information. 


Please include our charity logo and registration number on all promotional materials you produce for events and provide letters to authenticate your fundraising approaches if, for example, you are asking a local business for donated items towards a raffle, or your local supermarket for a bag packing slot.

Charity information:

Home-Start UK. A charitable company limited by guarantee. Charity no. in England and Wales 1108837 and in Scotland SC039172. Company no. 5382181.

Registered office: Home-Start UK, The Crescent, King Street, Leicesters, LE1 6RX.

Further information and guidance is available on the Institute of Fundraising’s Getting Started in Fundraising section as well as their Code of Fundraising Practice which highlights the law and best practice for a range of fundraising techniques.

The "handling of cash donations" section of the code and guidance may be particularly relevant, providing guidance on how best to collect and process the donations you collect.

< Go back to our fundraising guide