There are always lots of events on, in and around Frome. If you’re interested in organising a community event or street party yourself, we’ve pulled together some top tips for putting on a great event.
What do you want to do?
There are lots of different ways you can bring local people together. Whether it’s a street party, a community picnic, quiz night or an old fashioned fete.
Choose a venue
You could use a local park or green space, an allotment, school or back garden. You’ll need permission from whoever owns the land or building, so before getting too carried away with your plans, approach the owner to see if it’s possible for you to use it. Here’s a list of spaces owned by Frome Town Council.
Having an event on your street is a great way to get to know your neighbours better and make strong connections with each other. Lots of us have seen during the pandemic just how important our local communities are, and are keen to celebrate them. Several neighbourhoods have been putting on street events for years, from small garden parties to larger scale road closures with live music. If you’re new to the process, we’ve got some tips to get you started.
Pick a date
Think about what else is happening in the area and see what times and days would best suit your neighbours, friends and wider community.
If you haven’t already got a neighbourhood group set up, planning a street party together is a great way to get one started.
Games are a great way to encourage everyone to join in and get to know each other. If you’re on the street, you could use chalk to mark out hopscotch, have an egg and spoon race or bring out a sand pit from your back garden. If you ask everyone to bring a game then you’ll quickly fill the space.
Dressing up clothes, party games and craft activities will keep little people busy for a while.
Are you going to have music or entertainment? If you put up a stage or plan to have live or amplified music you may need to get a license. Find out more about licensing here.
Food & Drink
Food is a great way of uniting people, and the easiest way to do it is by asking everyone to bring something to share. Make sure you request a variety of dishes to suit a variety of dietary requirements (vegan, gluten free etc) and encourage people to label dishes that need to advise allergy sufferers. There are lots of websites with ideas for party food perfect for sharing. Try BBC Good Food and Jamie Oliver to get you started.
Alternatively you could see if local businesses would like to help with the catering or you might want to consider hiring in mobile caterers.
If you’re planning to sell or supply alcohol, you’ll need to apply for a TENS license – make sure you apply for this at least two weeks before your event.
You may live in a private road, or in a street where it’s possible to host an event on a piece of private land, for example a neighbour’s large garden, or a few driveways linked together. It might make for a lower key event than a full street party, but it makes things a little simpler to organise as it means you don’t need to apply for a road closure. Find out more information about hosting ‘Street Meets’.
If you want to close your street to traffic in order to have your celebration, you’ll need to apply for a temporary road closure (unless you live on a private road). Mendip District Council are responsible for approving applications to close roads for Private Residents’ Street Parties.
The road closure application process can be a little confusing if you’re doing it for the first time and it’s possible to have your application returned for not including enough information. To help make this easier, we have created some tried and tested templates that you can adapt for your own event.
For most small street parties, Mendip do not require a formal risk assessment, although it is a useful process to go through to help you anticipate things to be aware of when running your event. Take a look at our simple steps to a risk assessment.
Unless you live in a cul-de-sac, Mendip require street parties to be covered by Public Liability Insurance (up to £5million).
There is a lot of good information about insurance for street parties here, including some providers. Premiums start at £59 for a one-off event.
Most insurance companies require the applicant to be part of a constituted community group. This may be a helpful process to go through with your street group, especially if you think you might do future events and activities together going forward. We can help guide you through this if you need support. The Resource Centre offers good advice about going through this process and handy templates.
There is an insurance provider who offers specific street party insurance, which does not require you to have a fully constituted group. The named applicant is understood to be applying on behalf of their street party group, rather than viewed as an individual proposer of the insurance. Find out more about insurance.
If you need help funding your event, including paying for Public Liability Insurance, you can apply for a Mayor’s Grant for up to £300. Applications are accepted from community organisations (i.e. you will have a constitution, members with specific roles such as Chair and Treasurer and a bank account). If you do not fit this category we can advise you on making an application as a small street level neighbourhood group. Contact Hannah Stopford for more information on this.
Consider the planet
Frome is working towards becoming a single-use plastic free town. Please bear this in mind especially when it comes to catering. If you’re providing hot drinks, encourage people to bring reusable cups and try to avoid plastic cutlery, bottles, straws, plates and cups.
Provide sufficient bins and encourage people to recycle where possible.
Will you have enough tables and chairs?! Work out what you need and then see what’s available in the local area. At Frome Town Hall we have various things available for you to borrow for community events, from chairs, tables and gazebos to bean bags, bin bags and even our amazing smoothie bike. You can borrow these free of charge, but a donation to the Mayor’s charities is always welcome. Simply take a look at the inventory which lists the items available and fill out the form. A member of staff will get in touch to discuss your requirements.
You can also find useful items at Frome’s library of things – SHARE.
Please tell us about what’s happening in your area. If you’re involved in organising a community event please drop us a line with your contact details so we can keep you up to date with funding opportunities, ideas and link you up with other streets planning similar events at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you need any more help or advice, pop in to see us at the Town Hall or drop us a line.
More information can also be found on the government website.