Legal guidelines for events

Self-led fundraising projects - guidance for participants

At Leonard Cheshire, we are always grateful to those who raise funds for our important work with disabled people.

We are sorry that we cannot provide advice and guidance for individual projects that are not run by Leonard Cheshire.

We do urge you to take careful and professional advice for your fundraising project, ensuring the personal safety and well-being of participants, spectators and others is always safeguarded, and that you adhere to all appropriate national and local legislation and regulation.

Fundraising in the UK

If you are considering holding a raffle, or collecting money to support your fundraising efforts, then there are a few legal issues you need to bear in mind before you start. Please always make clear that you are raising funds ‘In aid of Leonard Cheshire, registered charity no. 218186 (England & Wales), no. SC005117 (Scotland).’


You must always apply for a street collecting licence from your local council to collect in a public road, or ask for permission from the manager of the store/premises if you wish to collect outside, or on the land of, a supermarket, shopping centre or leisure centre. Attempting to collect money from the public without permission could be a criminal offence. Please always use suitable collecting boxes or buckets, clearly labelled, which are available from our events team.


If you are thinking of holding a raffle, the timeframe you hold it over must be taken into consideration. If you are selling raffle tickets and drawing the winner(s) over a period of days/weeks, you must apply for a small lottery licence from your local council. If you are selling tickets and drawing them at the event, you do not need to do this.

Gift Aid

If people donating are UK taxpayers, it may be possible to use the Gift Aid tax system to increase the value of their donation. Please contact the events team for more information and sponsorship forms, or see the HMRC website for further details.

‘Challenge’ events

For any activity that involves physical exertion or personal risk, please ensure the event is properly planned and implemented, and that suitable risk assessments are carried out. You may wish to ask participants to sign some form of disclaimer or waiver, although you may want to take legal advice on whether these may be effective.

Overseas projects

The risks of projects that are undertaken overseas may be greater and should always be carefully assessed in advance. Good, informed advice should always be sought and this will often include the points below – although this is by no means a comprehensive list.

  • Ensure detailed advance liaison with the Foreign Office, particularly around security advice as travel warnings may apply to countries on your journey. 
  • Ensure detailed advance liaison with the London embassies of all the countries you will travel through, particularly to ensure visa and permit requirements are met, and links to additional support on the ground. 
  • Ensuring detailed health advice and screening is obtained, pre and post expedition. 
  • Form a core UK-based support team, possibly and as appropriate, to include 24/7 cover during the expedition itself and the ability to have real-time monitoring of position and status, with pre-agreed daily communication, and the ability to access help and support at any point. 
  • Ensure you carry out appropriate checks on any local partner organisations you plan to work with. 
  • Appoint key local ‘fixers’ in each of the countries and regions your project or expedition goes through. 
  • Arrange support teams to provide daily support for the expedition itself. 
  • Ensuring multiple options for communications including satellite phones.

Risk and insurance

We recommend that you carry out an appropriate ‘risk assessment’ of your activity or event, and that you seek appropriate professional advice, including in relation to any insurance which may be appropriate.


This guidance relates to activities which are not organised by us. Often we will not be aware of the event or activity until after it has happened. Accordingly Leonard Cheshire cannot accept any responsibility for any difficulties or liability which may arise.


To request a fundraising guide for further information advice and guidance on making your fundraising event a success please contact the events team.