Taking appropriate care of the welfare and accessibility needs of our volunteers is incredibly important to us.
We are working on this but can admit we still have a way to go, and for the safety of everyone we feel it is crucial to communicate clearly about the challenging aspects of the role of an Eco Warrior.
Our intention is to help people make an informed decision about whether this role is healthy for them, and enable everyone to take the best care of themselves. Our small crew of organisers work tirelessly toward the mission of clean campsites. While we do everything we can to support our team of volunteers, we have to be honest about the challenges and our limited capacity to meet the welfare needs of all.
Firstly, the physical aspects of the role. We can’t sugar-coat it. There is *a lot* of walking.
Initially, we walk from crew camping to the guest campsite – this can sometimes be the opposite side of the festival site – expect up to 30 mins just to get to the campsites we are targeting. While on shift the ‘roaming’ is all about covering the most amount of tents in the time as possible. Walking up and down a field all day, stepping over guy ropes and ducking in and out of camping areas can really take it out of you – and then we need to walk back to our campsite from shift. That’s without adding the obvious dancing at night and wandering around, enjoying the festival.! All that can be very demanding on your body, and we know first hand can take a toll, resulting in sore feet and achy limbs.
If you have podiatry issues such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, bunions, achilles tendinitis are or are prone to blisters it’s fair to say that the many hours on your feet can be very unpleasant – and would ask you to consider alternatives to volunteering with us until we are able to create more suitable roles.
The speed with which we aim to carry out our work – quickly greeting campers and moving on to the next – means if you are a little slow on your feet it may be tricky to keep up. We’re working on having bicycles in the campsite in the future and more roles for those with mobility issues – but for now, it’s all on the feet!
Next up is the emotional and psychological aspect of the role. Effectively we are approaching campers and asking them to engage with us and care about recycling. That can be easy and fun, but it can also be difficult, and it always requires a degree of confidence.
Nearly all Warriorz feedback that Eco Warriorz has increased their confidence. Which we love! Most of the time, it all goes well. But sometimes, campers will not want to engage. Sometimes they may even be rude. We train Warriorz not to engage in these moments, and to walk away. But that doesn’t mean it won’t have an effect on you.
If you are thick-skinned or unphased by this, that’s great. If you are likely to feel the need to retaliate, or be negatively affected by it – we ask you to take a moment to consider carefully if your wellbeing is going to be enhanced or damaged by these kinds of experiences and to communicate with us if you are unsure.
What we don’t want is someone to push themselves outside of their comfort zone or beyond what is healthy and end up in pain, causing a flare up of an underlying condition, or feeling unwell – whether that’s physical, emotional or mental wellbeing.
We’re looking at specific roles to ensure we can welcome more people – and be as inclusive as possible – however with everyone’s best interests at heart, we do have to make it clear that unfortunately this role is not for everyone.
A new Eco Warriorz accessibility statement has now been added to our website, explaining our commitment to future developments.