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Application information

Before you apply

Please read this summary of key details you will need to complete your 2017 application.

The application to volunteer comes in two stages. Part 1 is the Pre-Application and contains all the questions that can be answered in advance. Part 2 is the Festivals Application, which you can access while festival places are open for recruitment in the summer season.
Please ensure you have read through our FAQs, the Oxfam Stewarding Terms of Reference and information about steward roles on our website, so you are familiar with what volunteering with Oxfam entails before you apply.

You will need to have ready

Part 1. Pre-application

  • A unique email address
    To complete your application, you will need to use a unique email address. Please note this cannot be shared, as it will not be accepted by the application system. Please also note we are unable to accept ac.uk email addresses, so you will need to use an alternative email address.
    Please add festivals@oxfam.org.uk, stewards@oxfam.org.uk and stewards@updates.oxfam.org.uk to your email address book to ensure you to receive our confirmation emails and other important messages throughout the season.
  • An up to date digital passport style photo
    The image needs to be in jpeg (.jpg) format. The maximum file size you can upload is 5MB. It should be portrait, the application form will not accept landscape images. It is a requirement that your photo is suitable to be used on a festival security pass in order for you to volunteer, so please ensure the photo is the same quality as you would use to apply for a UK passport. This photo will be used on your volunteering Oxfam ID card which is used for identity checks on site at festivals, therefore it must be recent and reflect your current image.
  • Your national insurance number
    Due to restrictions on volunteering in the UK and some festival licensing requirements, we are required to provide all stewards' national insurance numbers to festival organisers. For this reason we will ask you to enter this as part of your application. If you are eligible to volunteer in the UK but do not have a national insurance number, you will have the option to declare this as part of your application.
  • Reference details
    Unless you have volunteered with Oxfam twice before, you will need to provide details of a referee. Their name, the position held, daytime telephone number, email address and company/ organisation name. You should know these people in a professional capacity, they should not be related to you and you must have known them for a minimum of 6 months.
    *If you are applying for a shop volunteer position your referee should be an Oxfam Shop Manager.
  • Emergency contact details
    In the unlikely event that you have a medical emergency onsite at a festival, we may be asked to provide your doctor's details to medical staff. You will need to provide your doctor's name, surgery address and phone number, as part of your application. You will also be asked to provide the name and phone number of an emergency contact, who will not be with you at the event.

Part 2. Festivals application

  • A valid debit or credit card
    To pay your deposit of up to maximum £240 - depending on which festivals you chose to go to. Your deposit (minus any deductions or donations) will be refunded onto the same card upon successful completion of your shifts. Refunds are made within 4 weeks of your last festival, with the exception of Glastonbury and Bestival, where refund processing may take up to 6 weeks. Please note partial refunds will not be given, so all deposit payments paid will be held until completion of your final festival. You will be able to check the status of your deposit throughout the season on your Volunteer Login page. Please note we cannot accept payment by cheque or American Express.
  • Your availability for the summer (diary)
    If you are a new steward or have not trained in the last four years, you will need to book a training session at the same time you select your festival place(s). You will also need to agree to be available for all of the stewarding onsite dates at each festival you sign up for, so please make sure you know your full availability for the summer.
  • Your travel plans
    As part of your application, you will need to tell us how you are travelling to each festival, for example, by car, getting a lift or by public transport. Please have this information to hand before you apply. If you are planning to bring a car or campervan, you will also need to provide your registration number as part of your application.
  • Shift partner details
    If you want to work with a friend or group as shift partners, you will need to supply their full names and dates of birth during application, so we can allocate them as your shift partners. You will be able to select up to 5 friends, to form a Shift Partner group of maximum 6 people. It is really important that you plan this with them in advance so that all members of the group enter each other's details accurately. Failure to give the same information will mean the match fails and no group is created. For more information, please see our Shift partner FAQs.

After you apply

This following list provides a brief summary of what happens after you apply.

Please ensure you have read the relevant FAQs and other information on our website so you are familiar with what your role involves. Steward FAQs,  Campaigner FAQs,  Festival Shop FAQs.

What happens after I apply?

Once you have successfully submitted your pre-application you should receive a confirmation email from Oxfam that thanks you for your registration to volunteer at Festivals with Oxfam.

Once you have successfully submitted your festivals application you should receive another confirmation email from Oxfam listing the festival(s) you have applied for and the deposit amount (if any) you have paid.

When you have received this second email your application to volunteer at the festival(s) stated on the email has been accepted. Keep your confirmation email safe. If you don't get your festival confirmation email, but your application went through correctly because you got a thank you page with a Transaction ID on it, please check your Junk/Trash/Spam folder.

Each year a number of emails are sent by our systems but never reach volunteers due to issues with their email provider. Unfortunately this is unavoidable so if you do not receive your confirmation email please check that your application has been successful by logging into our Volunteer Log-in instead.

Volunteer Log-in

You can log into our new  Volunteer log-in page at any time, using the username and password created during your application to check the status of your application(s) and to add additional festivals.

Is my place confirmed?

Stewards: if you have paid the deposit due for the festival(s) you applied for, your places are confirmed provided that:

  • You attend any training session(s) booked at the time of your application as stated on your email
  • Your reference check is successful (if you are new to volunteering with us)

Campaigners and Shops: Confirmation of your place at a festival will come directly from the office team, after your application has been reviewed.

Please note: there is a very slim chance that a festival may be cancelled, reduce the number of stewards they ask us for, or we may have to reduce the number of stewards and campaigners we're taking for other reasons. This could happen at short notice at any time before the festival date and Oxfam may need to cancel places, even after deposits have been paid. If this does become necessary, we will let you know and where possible we will try to reallocate you, but we can't guarantee that this will be possible. This is extremely rare.

When will I hear from you again?

If you are a steward, you may not hear from us again until your pre-festival information 1-2 weeks before the festival, however you can stay up-to-date with festival news and important information updates by following the Festivals Team blog or joining us on social media.

Please remember to update your details via the volunteer log-in if you change your phone number, or postal address during the season, so we can keep in touch with you. To update your email address, please contact the office directly at stewards@oxfam.org.uk.

Your travel plans

As part of your application, you will have told us how you are travelling to each festival, for example, by car, getting a lift or by public transport. If your travel plans change (i.e. car registration, how you are coming), please let us know before the cancellation deadline for the festival you are attending.

Reference checks

Reference checks are sent out automatically to the email address you give on your application form. Unless you hear otherwise, you can assume your reference check has been successful. You can also assume that any relevant DBS (previously CRB) checks will be successful. We will get in touch with you if there are any issues with these.

To change your referee details after you have submitted your application you will need to contact us. Please note: these cannot be changed online. We will only contact you regarding a reference if there has been a problem.

Training

Training is compulsory for new stewards and previous stewards who have not attended stewards training in 2014, 2015 or 2016. If you have booked yourself on to a training course during your application, this will be listed in your confirmation email. You must attend this to be able to steward with us. Information about the Training session will be sent to you around 1-2 weeks before the date, so please keep an eye out for that email.

To change your training course after you have submitted your application you will need to contact us. Please note: this cannot be changed online.

Adding additional festivals

If you have already applied to steward this year and wish to add an additional festival you will need to log into the volunteer log-in with your username and password.

For more information on logging back in and adding festivals, see the FAQ 'I've already applied but want to add another festival - how do I do that?'.

Amending your details

To amend your personal details after you have submitted your application, please go back in via the volunteer log-in and select the 'Edit my Details' option.

Cancellations

If you cancel your stewarding place:

  • within 7 days of applying - no fee, this is a 7 day cooling off period
  • before the cancellation deadline - you will lose £20 from your deposit
  • after the cancellation deadline - you will lose all of your deposit

Please note: cancellations cannot be made online and can only be done by contacting us. For more information on the cancellation process, please read the FAQs for your role.

Pre-festival information

A week or two before the festival(s) you have applied for, you will receive a pre-festival email from the Festivals Team office. This email will confirm entry instructions, times of entry/registration etc. and any travel details you may need and will also be the letter you will need to bring with you to the gate in order to gain entry to the festival.

When you have received your pre-festival email, you should have all the information you need to come to the festival site. Make sure your keep an eye on your emails, the website and the blog for any late changes/updates to entry instructions. Don't forget to keep your email address up to date so you receive this email. And please make sure you add stewards@oxfam.org.uk to your email address book to make sure it's not filed as junk mail.

Increase your knowledge

Prepare yourself for every eventuality by browsing the FAQs for you role. Steward FAQs, Campaigner FAQs, Festival shop FAQs.

New stewards, please read through the 'what is stewarding' area of the website. Please also read the 'my downloads' section in the volunteer Log-in.

To get the latest updates from the Oxfam Festivals Team, follow us on Twitter, join our Facebook group and make sure you read our blog.

Priority status

What is Priority Status?

Priority status is a benefit we offer our most frequent festival volunteers, which allows them early access to apply for stewarding before we open festival places to new volunteers. Festival campaigner and festival shop volunteer places do not open early, as the selection processes are different.

Priority applications usually open a week or two before the public launch, creating a "priority window" for volunteers to take advantage of this status.

The major benefit of early access is the chance to secure a stewarding place at our most popular festivals, which fill up very fast at public launch. Therefore the 2017 criteria for achieving priority status have been revised, to give you the opportunity to extend your status to 2019, acknowledging the Glastonbury "fallow year" in 2018. 


  • People with Priority status for spring 2017 applications have been emailed to confirm this.
  • To qualify for priority status in 2018 you must have volunteered at two festivals in 2017.
  • To qualify for priority status in 2019 you must have done one of the following:
    1. Volunteered at 3 festivals in 2017
    2. Volunteered at 2 festivals in 2017 and 1 festival in 2018 
    3. Volunteered at 2 festivals in 2018 (the normal priority rule)
  • Oxfam campaigning or shop roles can count towards this, providing at least 1 volunteer experience has been stewarding and you have completed stewards training.
  • Experienced/long-term returning stewards will qualify for priority status, if one of the following applies*:
  1. You have held a supervisor role at festivals for us, for the last 2 consecutive years
  2. You have volunteered in 4 of the past 5 years and have volunteered 8 festivals within that period
  3. You have volunteered at 10 or more festivals in the past 10 years

*For the small number of experienced/long-term volunteers who fall just short of the criteria, due to temporary changes to personal circumstances in the previous year (injuries, weddings, babies, family commitments etc) or limitations relating to a reasonable adjustment, please email stewards@oxfam.org.uk to explain your situation. Any requests will be considered on a case by case basis.