Creativity allows people of different backgrounds and abilities, to communicate and collaborate, providing a fantastic opportunity for people to come together and express themselves on all sorts of levels.

With this in mind, it is important, when planning your event, to consider what barriers to participation might be in place and to address these where possible, particularly if your event is focused on welcoming new participants and 'open to all'.

Disability access means different things to different people, but in the context of the Voluntary Arts Festival, and your event, here we are referring to:

  • Physical accessibility - how people access the venue, move around the space, is there a ramp, wheelchair lift, disabled toilets etc.
  • Event accessibility - is there a hearing loop available, is the activity appropriate for someone who is partially sighted or who uses a wheelchair etc.

We understand that factors beyond your control, such as venue options, number of volunteer helpers, the type of activity you are planning etc, may prevent you from offering access to all.

Feedback from Euan’s Guide - the disabled access review website - tells us that this is OK! Not every event can be fully accessible, but what is important, is to be clear about the set-up of the venue and what support is available so that people can make an informed choice about whether to attend or not.

With this in mind, we have allowed space for you to provide accessibility information when listing your event on the Voluntary Arts Festival website.

For guidance and practical advice on how to make your event accessible, please read the Voluntary Arts 'Disability and access' Briefing (coming soon), which includes an event checklist and practical advice on things to consider when planning and publicising your event.

Equality and diversity - It is in the best interests of voluntary arts groups to be well-informed on the legislation surrounding equality and diversity, not only to abide by the law, but to go beyond legal requirements to actively attract and retain new members with a range of different of perspectives and experiences.

By promoting equality and diversity within your group you can ensure that all those involved feel valued and heard, and able to contribute to its overall success.

Download the Voluntary Arts Briefing ‘Equality and diversity update‘ (coming soon) for more information on creating an equal opportunities policy and welcoming people from different back grounds to join your group.

The Voluntary Arts Briefing ‘Welcoming speakers of different languages‘ (coming soon) offers practical tips on how to welcome speakers of different languages to your voluntary arts group – as potential participants, volunteers or committee members – this includes guidance to ensure that communication difficulties do not become a barrier preventing non-English speakers from taking an active role in your group.