Oxfam has announced that it will expand its stewarding programme as it hopes to capitalise on the enthusiasm for volunteering generated by the Olympics.
This year the charity will move into stewarding day festivals and other music, sporting and community events, hoping to double the size of its operation over the next few years.
There are currently 5,000 volunteers who take part in its stewarding programme at weekend-long festivals each year and last year the activity raised £1m for the charity.
Oxfam started its stewarding programme in 1993 at Glastonbury festival. The charity is paid about £7 per hour for each steward it provides and volunteers have the opportunity to see a festival for free. Earlier this year the charity appointed stewarding manager Emma Parkinson to lead the expansion.
A spokeswoman told civilsociety.co.uk that it was too soon to say how many more events Oxfam stewards would attend or how much it could make the charity in the short term. But the first day event where Oxfam stewards will be present is the Tramlines festival in Sheffield this July.
Richard Lee, Oxfam’s head of events and community fundraising division said: “In these economically challenging times, Oxfam Stewarding is a valuable example of how charities, businesses and the general public can work together in a mutual beneficial and highly effective way.”
Parkinson added: “We also see a great legacy opportunity for volunteering after the 2012 Olympics as the Game Makers programme will help raise awareness arund the opportunities and benefits of volunteering at events and will train up hundreds of new volunteers. We hope to encourage these volunteers to continue using the skills they’ve acquired in future years by giving their time to Oxfam Stewarding.”