“Family Friendly” indicates a whole philosophy that is about being accessible and welcoming to families. The Office of National Statistics reports that there are around 16 million families in the UK today.

The family market generally is an attractive one. It is also a stable market – families are a long-term prospect as they remain in this life-stage for at least 14 years – with high potential for developing loyalty and repeat attendance. There are clear advantages in growing the family market and arts organisations are well-placed to respond to the families’ demands for things to do and places to visit together.

If you indicate on the registration form that you are ‘Family and Child Friendly’:

– This DOES NOT mean you will have to provide extra facilities for families or prepare your venue exclusively for visits from family groups.

– This means SAW is working with you to provide a clear and consistent message to the visitors and to make sure you are well-prepared when expecting visits from family groups.

About Family Friendly Guiding Principles

These principles provide you with a guideline and offer an overview of what we mean by ‘Family Friendly’ as we understand it in the open studios environment. This is not a checklist for self-assessment, but it is a set of guidelines to help you during your planning and when you are preparing your open studios event if you are expecting to welcome visits from families.

Defining a family group

Family groups can come in many different shapes and sizes – and you need to try and cater for all of them. A family may include one or more children, relatives and friends, carers or more than two generations at a time. So a family group may be any group consisting of at least one adult of any age and at least one child up to the age of 18.

The Principles

• You have a commitment to being family friendly, including appropriate signage and a friendly approach when you encounter family visitors.

• You actively seek to offer a high standard of events and activities that all the members of a family can enjoy – and encourage them to try new things.

• You will try to think about the needs of a family. This can be from the moment they look for information about the event right through to the end of the visit. This means providing the information they need and being honest about your facilities at all times.

• You know how important safety is to your visitors. Signage should be placed clearly and visibly in an eye-catching area to remind visitors that ‘Adults are responsible for the supervision of any children in their care at all times.’

• Wherever possible, you should provide facilities to help a family have a comfortable visit.

• You should try to be accessible, helpful and interactive!

It’s OK not to be “Family Friendly”!

The point about being a Family Friendly venue for SAW is that it highlights those venues, events and activities that are particularly suitable for families and are committed to developing their family audiences. It is about providing clear information to the visitors and making sure that you attract the right kind of visitors to your studios. This is certainly NOT about providing something exclusively for families.

“Family Friendly” is not for you if:

• You do not wish to attract families.

• You have any concerns about the safety of your studio, and you don’t think signage can help.

• Your work is not appropriate for a younger audience

• You are concerned about becoming a victim of your own success, while your venue, facilities and you, yourself, are not able to cope with several families at the same time.

School Group Visit and Working with Young People

If you are thinking or considering doing the following then you are being more than just “Family Friendly”

a. Provide workshops and working directly with children and young people

b. Work with a school or with an organised a school a visit

If the workshop is taking place during the Art Weeks and indicated in the Art Weeks Guide, please make sure you let us know and read our Child Protection Policy. This may also mean you will need further guidance and advice on the following:

• DBS checks

• Child Protection legislation

• Health & Safety legislation

(Revised Jan 2019)