Managing Events and Volunteers at your Heritage Site

Managing events and volunteers is an important function, and one which can affect your insurance policy. Whatever stage you are at with the development of your property, you will no doubt have events that take place during the year, and these will often rely on volunteers to part-staff them.

It’s worth making sure that the people you rely on and the events themselves are protected. Here we explore a few themes to get your organisation thinking.

What are the basic insurances?

Public and Products Liability

Public Liability will as it says, protect the public if anyone on site suffers loss e.g. injury from tripping up on an uneven surface. Products Liability covers you if something you have, or have made, has been given out to people e.g. food/drink, and the product causes illness or harm.

Employers’ Liability

This covers your volunteers as well as staff. Make sure you declare to your insurance broker what number of volunteers you use, so that in the event of a claim, the insurer knows the size of your “workforce” at these events.

Whose event is it anyway?

It almost sounds too obvious as a question, but it has insurance implications.

Your event

If you are organising the event, then your policy needs to cover the event. But if you are allowing other individuals or groups to perhaps hold events in your premises or grounds, then do make sure you ask the organisers for proof of their insurance, and check that your insurer is happy with the type of event planned on your site.


These can also throw up potential grey areas. Sometime organisations put out publicity about an event that portrays the event as theirs but in reality, they are just the beneficiaries of the income derived by the fundraisers. Work out clear lines of control over events and keep your insurance broker up to date so they can advise if the fundraisers need their own policy.

Joint events

If the event is being organised by you and another organisation jointly then work out if one of you can take ownership and control. If not, you may need a stand-alone event policy that mentions both of your organisations.


Try to assess what level of risk there is at your event based on the activity itself, where it is, and how many people might attend. Risk assessments can be useful, though not necessary for all small-scale events. If in doubt chat to your insurance broker. What you need to ensure is that basic safety is observed and that your staff and volunteers know what action to take in the event of a problem, or indeed emergency. Think about first aiders who will be present. And also think if under 18’s or vulnerable adults may be in attendance, and ensure you remain within the boundaries of your safeguarding policy.

Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers

Hayes Parsons has been working with Heritage Trust Network members for many years and has the knowledge to provide you with a bespoke insurance policy, based on your unique heritage building or venue. We encourage our clients to think about their annual programme of events and to work through the areas in this blog, to ensure safety of your volunteers and events.

If you would like to discuss volunteers and events further, please contact our heritage expert, Martin, who would be delighted to have a chat!