Safety and welfare

Your safety and well-being throughout your volunteering experience are incredibly important to us. We want to ensure you have the best possible time at our events and return home feeling looked after. Below are important guidelines and resources to help you stay informed, prioritise safety, and look after yourself and others while volunteering at festivals with Oxfam.

Staying informed

Orientation and Training

Information is really important in staying safe and so attending training and on-site briefings is a mandatory part of your volunteering journey.

These sessions will cover essential information about your role, potential hazards, emergency procedures, and how to access support if needed.

Stewarding Guide

As a steward, you will receive a copy of our digital Stewarding Guide, which provides a wealth of useful information. Please make sure you read through it before your first shift. If there is anything you are still unsure of, do not hesitate to ask an Oxfam member of staff or your supervisor – they are there to help and support you.

Staying safe on site

We also recommend taking the time to familiarise yourself with the specifics of the festival you'll be volunteering at. Understand the layout, emergency exits, medical facilities, and any potential risks associated with the event environment.


There are some things you can do ahead of arriving on-site to ensure you have the best possible volunteering experience.

You will need to bring your own camping equipment and we recommend doing some research into the best options for rain, cold weather, and getting some sleep during daylight.

You will also need to pack clothing suitable for the full range of British weather, and comfortable footwear and clothing to wear on shift.

We will provide you with a voucher for a free hot meal for every shift you volunteer, so make sure you bring enough food or money to feed yourself beyond this. We recommend some healthy snacks such as fruit, nuts, or seeds.

Also, remember to bring a mug with you as we provide free hot drinks 24/7 but not cups.

You can see our full recommended packing list here.

Medical and accessibility requirements

We want festival volunteering to be open to everyone and so we do our best to make all of our volunteer roles as accessible as possible. Please let us know in your profile if you have any access requirements and we will get in touch to discuss how we may be able to support you on-site.

You can find out more on our information page Medical and accessibility requirements.

Looking after yourself

Festivals are packed with amazing things to do and we want you to enjoy your free time as well as your time on shift. There are some things you can do to look after yourself and ensure your time is as enjoyable as possible:

Hydration and Nutrition: Festivals can be physically demanding. Stay hydrated and eat balanced meals or healthy snacks.

Rest and Recovery: Prioritise sufficient rest between shifts to recharge your energy levels. If doing a night shift, get some sleep before going back out to enjoy the festival.

Mindfulness: Be mindful of your mental health throughout the volunteering experience. Engage in activities that help you relax and unwind, and don't hesitate to reach out for support if you're feeling overwhelmed.

Remember, the Oxfam coordinators are always available to support you on-site if you are not feeling well or need to talk.

If you are planning to party during your time off, you need to be fit and sober for your shifts. You can read more details about this in our Volunteer Agreement.

Looking after each other

We are very proud of our volunteer community and we encourage everyone to be friendly, welcoming and embody Oxfam's values.

Teamwork: Foster a supportive environment within your volunteering team. Look out for one another, offer assistance when needed, and communicate openly to address any concerns.

Inclusivity: Respect diversity and create an inclusive atmosphere where all volunteers feel welcome and valued.

We have lots of experienced volunteers who are happy to share their knowledge and volunteering tips. You can ask previous volunteers questions in our Facebook Forum.

We don’t tolerate antisocial behaviour and expect everyone to feel safe and secure in our community.

Personal Protective Equipment

Oxfam will provide the necessary PPE based on the tasks you'll be undertaking. This includes your high-visibility tabard and may also include ear protection, sunscreen, a dust mark, or a two-way radio. Ensure you wear and use them appropriately and as instructed to keep yourself safe.


Oxfam is committed to creating a safe and rewarding environment for our staff and volunteers.

Whilst on site you are representing Oxfam, and we expect your conduct to be consistent with Oxfam’s values and standards. By signing up to volunteer with us, you have committed to our volunteer agreement. This means treating everybody with respect and dignity and challenging any form of harassment, discrimination, intimidation, exploitation or abuse.

If you come across anyone falling short of these standards in any way please report it to us. Oxfam Festival Coordinators are trained to treat anything you disclose with strict confidentiality and can take action to resolve issues on site. You can go to Oxbox or call the on-site number and ask to speak to them.

If you don’t feel able to report something on-site, but would like it to be followed up, you can also contact Oxfam centrally at If you wish to report a concern anonymously, you can use a confidential external reporting route and contact Speak Up via email or online.

Oxfam treats all allegations very seriously and investigates each one thoroughly. Further information, including Oxfam’s safeguarding policies, can be found here.