In keeping with the ethos of UK GovCamp, we want 2024’s event to be inclusive, accessible and fun for all involved. We have taken all your comments into consideration, and have strived to deliver the following, with the budget and time we have.
We hope to continue to make the event better in future years, if you think you can help with this, please reach out to: email@example.com
A huge thank you to platinum sponsors Nexer for funding the work we have done to make the event more accessible and Public Digital for funding the bursaries to help remove financial barriers to attendance.
Things around the event
Communication and wayfinding
- The UK GovCamp organisers will provide regular communications and updates so attendees can plan for the event
- If you have access issues, or it helps makes you feel more comfortable, we have accessibility liaisons that will greet you and show you around the venue
- Clear signage around the venue, to help you find your way around
- Floorplans of the venue on every floor
- Campmakers on hand to direct you, should you need it
- We have shared the address, photographs of the venue, and directions for how to get there (see the ‘Getting there’ section below)
- There are accessible entrances to the venue
- The venue is accessible to wheelchairs throughout, all spaces used by the event can be accessed by participants
- There are accessible toilets on each floor
- The venue accepts assistance/service dogs
- If you have access/mobility issues, we can provide an accessibility liaison, who will greet you and familiarise you with accessible routes into the building
- Campmakers around to support attendees needs as they arise
- Lanyards to identify attendees who do not want to be photographed
- Ensuring a wide range of food is provided, which meets attendees dietary requirements
- Ensuring attendees have access to water throughout the event
- Ensuring a range of caffeinated and non caffeinated beverages, including a large range of herbal teas and dairy-free alternatives to milk
Quiet spaces and neurodiversity
- A quiet room with dimmed lighting and a strict no phone calls policy
- Mandalas (colouring) & markers available in quiet room
- Grounding technique instructions throughout quiet room
- Fidget toys
- Sensory tent for emotional regulation
- A separate prayer room
- You can ask a Campmaker to proxy pitch your idea
- A creche for those caring for children
- A mother’s room with a fridge and sink for breastfeeding, etc.
- Bursaries to financially support those who couldn’t attend otherwise
Format of the unconference
The opening and closing address
- A quality PA (audio) system
- Seating, and reserved seats for people with additional accessibility needs
- Ear plugs to help anyone who finds this part of the event too loud
- Avoiding music during talking bits, to reduce chances of auditory overstimulation (there will be some music at other times for ambience)
- We will be using 2 liberating structures to do pitching this year, called impromptu networking and 25/10 crowd sourcing. More details can be found here and while it’s a departure from the traditional pitching queue, we hope it will create more connections between people, create a more inclusive way to share ideas and help us manage the amount of attendees
- Campmakers will be available to support those with dyslexia when we write our pitches
- Attendees can choose to sit out of the social aspects of the pitching, if they wish to do so
- Campmakers will be available to pitch for those who don’t want to be part of pitching
- Reserved seats for people with additional accessibility needs
- Seating / reserved seats for people with additional accessibility needs
- Regular breaks between sessions
- Campmakers and facilitators will try to make sure only one person speaks at a time
- Campmaker and notetakers will provide the content of the sessions so it can be revisited and better digested after the event
What our community can do to help
- Be supportive of adaptations such as noise-cancelling headphones to block background noise
- Support our immunosuppressed attendees by doing a lateral flow test before you set off for the event, support those who chose to wear a mask or ask you to give them social distance in other ways
- Please take the stairs if you can and leave the lift for those who need it most
- Please speak directly into the mic when pitching
Recently, Imran from the organising team caught up with Alex Kegie, a neurodiversity advocate from Nurologik. Alex had helped make GovCamp Cymru more accessible and offered her advice to UKGovCamp XL.
Imran has been working on plans to create a sensory room for UK GovCamp XL in 2024.
If all goes to plan, we hope to have:
- A ‘seated area’ with a table and chairs
- Separate seating around the edges of the room for more personal space
- Mandalas and felt-tips for colouring
- Instruction for several grounding techniques for attendees to try
- A selection of sensory and fidget toys
- (Hopefully) a divider, allowing for more privacy in the ‘self-care’ section of the room
- A sensory tent with calming lamp
- A camp bed/lounger to provide a place to lie down
- A weighted blanket for comforting
- A padded floor seating area with blankets and cushions
- Plants throughout the room
We’ll be trying a bunch of new things, based on advice we received. We hope you like it.
A few things we were asked for but couldn’t do this year
- Provide sound recording – due to the nature of the event, we don’t record the pitching or the sessions, we feel this allows our attendees to share their thoughts and experiences more freely Notes are taken but not attributed to individuals unless expressly asked to do so and everyone is encouraged to state to the notetaker if something should not be written down
- Make the event child inclusive – due to safeguarding concerns we are not able to invite children to attend sessions.
- Reduce the noise of the opening and closing – with an event of 500 it would be very difficult to reduce noise and make the event clearly audible
- Due to government guidelines we are not mandating covid testing or mask wearing. The cost of HEPA filters for the size of the event was prohibitive
- Start later – we don’t feel that we will fit a good day in if we start later than 9am but people are welcome to pitch by proxy and join for the sessions which will start around 11am. If there are financial pressures regarding peak travel costs we can support with bursaries
- Hold the event in the week – we have agonised over this many times and done surveys on the subject and we still feel that more people can/will come on weekends. We offer the creche and bursaries to address some of the barrier for weekend attendance and the online events have often been during the week
- We’re sure we’ve missed things that our neurodiverse attendees may need, please let us know if there’s something we can change so we know for next time
We’ve set up a channel in slack #ukgcxl-travel where people who’d like to travel with someone else can connect.
Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s, 10 Godliman St, London EC4V 5AJ (Google Maps)
Blackfriars (0.2 mile)
Exit Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s and turn left. Take a left onto St Andrew’s Hill when you reach The King’s Wardrobe and continue straight until you reach Rudds Bar. Take a take turn onto Queen Victoria Street and cross the road towards Puddle Dock. Once you have crossed the road, turn right onto Queen Victoria Street and continue straight for approx. 1 minute. Blackfriars station will be on your left.
St Paul’s Station (0.2 mile)
Exit Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s and turn right. Continue straight for approx. 2 minutes and take a slight left towards St Paul’s Churchyard. Cross the road at St Paul’s Churchyard and continue through the Festival Gardens towards St Paul’s Cross. Exit Festival gardens to the right of St Paul’s Cross and cross the road towards Cheapside. St Paul’s Station will be on your left.
Mansion House Station (0.3 mile)
Exit Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s and turn right. Continue straight for approx. 2 minutes and take a slight left towards St Paul’s Churchyard. When you exit Carter Lane Gardens, turn right and continue for approx. 2 mins. Mansion House Station will be directly in front of you.
Bike and Car Parking Information
On-street car and bike parking is not available at Leonardo Royal Hotel London St Paul’s, but 233 local car parking spaces are available at Baynard House Car Park, on 133 Queen Victoria Street, EC4V 4BQ (c. £18 on a Saturday). Free, secure bike-parking is also available at Baynard House Car Park.