Volunteering at Festivals – The ‘Oxfamily’

??????????Impossible with kids? Not so.

In fact, the fabulous team at Oxfam, who organise stewards at some of the UK’s biggest festivals welcome families and have many who return year after year. It’s also a fabulous opportunity if your teenagers want to experience festivals on their own in a friendly safe environment.

The ‘Oxfamily’ of stewards has grown over the years. Getting to attend a festival without buying a ticket is obviously a big part of volunteering but for those that go back year after year it’s more. You become part of a great team, make friends, build skills and even get fed! Stewards can enjoy separate campsite facilities, phone charging, showers, unlimited tea and coffee and lasting friendships.

If a family stewards it does take a little more organising so Oxfam advise a three adult to childcare ratio, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy the festival together between shifts (opposing shift patterns can be arranged to make childcare possible).

campbeststewardOne of the most ‘family friendly’ festivals Oxfam provide stewards for is Camp Bestival. Volunteers can enjoy this amazing event in 2014 and see bands like James, Basement Jaxx, De La Soul, Laura Mvula and Public Service Broadcasting. They can also experience the feast collective for the first time, which brings together chefs, street vendors and creative foodmakers for the ultimate outdoor dining experience. All for a few hours of your time.

The time volunteers donate to Oxfam by stewards raises vital funds so you’ll also have a warm and fuzzy feeling that you are doing your bit too. Festivals pay Oxfam for supplying the stewarding service and that money helps in development and emergency work around the world. In 2013 stewarding for Oxfam raised over £1 million.

To read about my own experience of stewards and stewarding at festivals visit Lost Child Found Child.

If you are interested in being part of the ‘Oxfamily’ and stewarding at events like Camp Bestival, Glastonbury, Shambala, Beautiful Days, Tramlines, Boomtown Fair, NASS, Boardmaster and Bestival visit oxfam.org.uk/Stewarding (Glastonbury steward spaces went within 50 minutes of opening but ‘priority application’ is given to all volunteers who help at other festivals this year for Glastonbury 2015)

We’d love to hear about your experiences of stewards and stewarding at festivals.

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