Volunteer Stories

I’ve been volunteering for 19 years. I’ve done 104 festivals in that time. It’s something that gets infectious because once you do it once or twice you really appreciate all of the benefits and the fun that you can have. It’s a really great community to work with. It’s very inclusive. There are people of all ages and different backgrounds. I started a bit older than other people, but it keeps me young. It’s very fulfilling at other times in my life. After the festival when I go back into my own community, it makes me feel more empowered to be able to help people. It’s called the Oxfamily. Everybody’s welcome, everybody’s included.”

Long-term Oxfam Steward, Desmond

This is my first ever time at a festival and first ever time volunteering for Oxfam. Everyone’s been super welcoming. I was immediately adopted by the two women next to me. Everyone’s super friendly and super happy to be here so it’s been great. And of course, you’re raising money for Oxfam which is helping to change people’s lives around the world. I’d really like to do some more next year.”

First-time steward and music student, Gwen.

I’ve been stewarding for about 3 years so a relative newcomer really. I absolutely love it. I went to festivals for many years as a punter. It cost a lot of money; you can’t do as many as you like. But this is free, its friendly, it’s fun and you get access to lots of different areas you wouldn’t usually go. And its charity work, which is great, so your raising money for Oxfam which is the best thing really. It’s very inclusive and everyone just really chats. We all camp together on one site, its safe, it’s secure, there’s a communal area, so it’s just super easy to meet people and it’s the best way to make friends. And people say there are friends for life here and it’s not wrong. So, if you’re coming on your own it’s no problem at all. What is really good about it is you feel that you’re making a difference. You are helping people all the time. I’m really happy to work for Oxfam it’s a really, really good family. The Oxfield and the Oxfamily is something we all talk about and it’s meaningful.”

Oxfam steward, Julie

This is my first-time volunteering and I'm loving it. I've not done much in terms of volunteering elsewhere, but the facilities that you get here in this particular venue - you get vouchers for food, you get vouchers for other things. They generally look after you, you get free tea and coffee! Brilliant, brilliant little things. You get to meet people along the way. The perks are entry, you get to see the venue as a whole and the freedom. I retired early in life and what better way to fill up my time. Volunteering can help bring you out yourself. It's just a brilliant thing to do and you see a lot of people smiling and when you have that positive reaction, you know, from being positive and talking to people. It's just brilliant.”

First-time Oxfam steward, Andy

It’s such a nice family feel between all the stewards. You see the same faces every year, it’s lovely. As a disabled customer it’s nice that you can join all these festivals and events and feel looked after. Everyone looks after each other but it is also very nice to think about supporting Oxfam especially in the times that we’re living in at the moment. Obviously you need to respond to things as and when they’re happening and to feel like you’re a little cog in a big wheel feels nice.”

Oxfam steward, Michelle