Blog Archive

Friday, 10 October 2014


 BARAC is seeking volunteers for Workers Beer Company in 2015 at UK Music Festivals such as Glastonbury and Reading. 

Sharon Griffiths with Lee Jasper

 This summer the first BARAC team of volunteers for Workers Beer Company attended the Reading Festival.  BARAC is grateful to the team of volunteers which included National Co-Chair of BARAC, Lee Jasper for raising much needed funds to support the work BARAC does campaigning for race equality and justice. 

Sharon Griffiths, BARAC supporter and volunteer writes on her experience:
Reading an email received from BARAC one morning caught me off guard as I had been talking to my housemate only the day before about feeling regretful that at my age I’d never been to a festival.  The horror stories of the toilet situation had I have to say, always put me off attending such an event despite hearing how much fun they were!  The email was seeking volunteers to fundraise with the Workers Beer Company on behalf of BARAC.  Being a supporter of BARAC and acknowledging that I’m neither time or money rich, this was an ideal opportunity to attend a festival, have ‘staff’ camping, toilets, showers, two meals a day and drinks when you finish your shift was a perfect introduction to a festival.  Perfect, I wasn’t going to have to pay to attend either.  All in exchange for working between 5-7 hours per day which meant I had between 17 to 19 hours remaining to enjoy the bands, HOT showers, a subsidised bar at the staff camping site and appreciate clean toilets all whilst earning money for BARAC – a Win-Win!

We were invited to be on site the day prior to the Festival starting and off on our adventure we went.  A small team of three packed into a small car with the same number of tents, sleeping bags, deck chairs, camping stove and food and off we went!  The staff camping area was very well organised and we were instantly welcomed and given our ID badges. 


 The shift patterns were posted each afternoon for the following day which allowed us time to plan which bands we wanted to see.  There were approximately 40 staff per bar and there was a great sense of camaraderie amongst the teams.  Beer and cider were poured ready at the back of the bar for us to serve and small selections of spirits were also available.  Nothing too complicated and definitely not the scene for a fancy cocktail (which was a relief).  We were given a barcode for each drink and a small ‘zapper’ gun to scan upon serving so we didn’t even have to add up!!
We were fortunate enough to be given one five hour shift and two six hour shifts so there were lots of opportunities for us to do our own thing.  Prior to our first shift we were given an induction and there was a huge emphasis about being certain we weren’t serving anyone younger than 18.  There were also a number of dodgy twenty pound notes in circulation therefore vigilance was the highest priority.  We agreed as a team that we would also donate our tips to the fundraising pot so there was a real sense of satisfaction that went hand in hand with our hard work.

My advice to anyone considering volunteering to work and represent BARAC at a festival is:  DO IT!  Take wellies and waterproof coat, warm sleeping bag, a sense of humour and a certainty to arrive on time for your shift; also remembering that your conduct when working or staying at the staff campsite does represent BARAC and a good attitude will ensure we get invited to work at the festivals in the future.

Sharon qualified as a social worker in 1999 and in her free time has spent over 17 years working overseas typically in varying areas of Africa, with a particular interest in child protection and in South America working with non-government organisations to reduce the trafficking and sexual slavery of children. During this time Sharon has been able to work with both human services departments and non-government organisations to provide teaching of social work principles in local universities and consultation around varying areas of child protection.

Sharon is a social worker specialising with children and families and also offers consultation to local authorities and NGO’s.
If you are interested in volunteering festivals in 2014 please contact for further information and to register: Donna Guthrie 

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