Blogs

I’ve learned how to make my events even more powerful, says Oliver


Reported by Oliver

Published on Friday, April 8th, 2022

Ageism Leadership
Blogs

I’ve learned how to make my events even more powerful, says Oliver


Written by Oliver

Published on Friday, April 8th, 2022

Ageism

Leadership

My “Engages all Ages” events bring people from different generations together in fun ways to raise awareness about ageism (especially how it effects Disabled people and other marginalised groups) and to increase tolerance and understanding between different age groups.

cartoon of older and younger people

The process of planning these events has never been simple but I’ve been fortunate enough to learn about event-planning on the Leadership Programme at CDA. It’s an action-based programme and so I was supported to set up a new event and learn from it as I went.  I received great advice and help at every stage and learnt what it takes to put on a truly successful and well attended event.

On the Leadership Programme I received great advice and help at every stage and learnt what it takes to put on a truly successful and well attended event.

The first step was to create plans using a great programme called Canva which allows me to design clear lists of the tasks, resources and people I need when putting on an event. I started by making a list of all the things I would need and the people I may need to ask to help me. As this was a music event I got great help from someone called Bryony who works for Ignite Me Theatre. She is a Disabled leader with a lot of valuable experience and her ideas were a great contribution to my work. If it was not for her, I would have had no idea how to run a music event.

young man planning

I learnt that it takes a lot of promotion to get people to come to an event. One of the ways I disseminated my flyer to people was by sharing it on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter. I also came to understand that flyers need to be nice and clear so everyone is aware of the time, location, content and purpose of the event. And I also found that WhatsApp groups helped with promotion.

I learnt that it takes a lot of promotion to get people to come to an event.

Face-to-face marketing is also important and a big part of my promotion for the event involved asking shops, restaurants, cafes and other community spaces to put my flyers up in their windows and noticeboards. When handing them out in public I found many people did not want to take them. This made me feel rubbish, but I talked this out and kept going.

In the end, I found that the word-of-mouth promotion was the most effective way of bringing young people together with folks of other ages.

When handing flyers out in public I found many people did not want to take them. This made me feel rubbish, but I talked this out and kept going.

On the day of the event, I felt nervous but kept on trucking. The preparation and my lists really helped me keep on top of things. To engage with participants, I did activities such as brainstorming, singing, literation, and percussion using instruments. These activities were based on the theme of age differences and discrimination and we created slogans that supported the thrust of my campaign. There were about 25 attendees, which was a fantastic turn out.

cartoon of older and younger people dancing

What really stood out for me was that people clearly enjoyed doing the activities and being together. I also got feedback from people about what they would like to happen at a follow up event. They said they wanted people of different generations to share stories, which sounds like a great idea. I am going to do it at the same place as this worked well.

What really stood out for me was that people clearly enjoyed doing the activities and being together.

I have had some great news this month. I applied to Camden Giving We Make Camden Kit for funding to carry on my Engages All Ages events, and my funding bid was successful. So look out for more of my events in the next six months folks!

 

Written by Oliver


I am a young artist and activist on the autistic spectrum who has studied at Westminster Kingsway College and Byam Shaw College among other institutions. Painting has been a way of expressing myself and helped distract me from my obsessions. I am very aware of the social barriers caused by ageism which led me to begin an initiative called ‘Engages all Ages’. Myself and a group of friends hold regular meetings and events as part of this project. I appeared on a Channel 4 TV show called the Undateables, which shows the dating agency ‘Stars in the Sky’ helping Disabled people to find love. You can see some of my art work on display at Oliver’s Village Café NW3, our family café, where I also bake some of the cakes. Combatting loneliness is important to me and you can read a Camden New Journal article about my 'happy to talk' bench campaign here.

Read all of Oliver's articles

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Ageism Leadership

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