It can be a real disappointment, when you have planned a group activity, to find that you have no attendees.
Many activity coordinators experience this as a daily occurrence, and they have no idea how to get out of the cycle.
There are ways to change up a gear, it can take time and it takes a bit of planning, but it is possible.
Here’s a five-point plan to help you.
1. Plan your morning activity to follow your ‘usual’ coffee-time.
If your carers/kitchen staff serve hot drinks at 10:00 advertise your activity to start a 10:00. (You won’t start the additional activity until 10:30)
2. Advertise your activity using the following format;
- Please join us for coffee and biscuits
followed by 10:30 - Armchair Exercises with Sally”
3. Ask carers/volunteers to support any residents who wish to take part in the activity to arrive at the activity space in time for their drink and biscuits. (In this way, those that arrive late are less likely to miss the additional activity)
4. On the day;
Remind staff that you have an activity that starts at 10:00.
Ensure that they know what and where it is and that you need their help to support people to attend.
Place TODAY notices on the breakfast tables to remind residents of the activity
5. Ensure that you set the scene in plenty of time for 10:00 start
Make sure you have what you need to serve hot drinks and biscuits
Play some music to make is seem inviting
Have some conversation starters ready to engage people as they arrive
Stay in that area – often the reason no-one is there for the beginning of an activity is because they arrive early and then walked away, thinking nothing is going on.
Don't forget to say 'Thank you' to staff and volunteers that support residents to attend our activity.
You could even buy a small box of chocolates for the staff to share with your residents at the end of the activities.