Festival Welfare Services

Festival Welfare Services


I’m Katie McLeod and I am the director
of Chill Welfare. I coordinate festival welfare
services are events across the UK and Ireland. It’s really important our festival
welfare services because you know a lot of people will use drugs at a festival.
Sometimes people are first-time drug users or don’t have a lot of drug
experience. So it’s really important that there are services and to help people
that do experience problems. So the majority of people that use drugs aren’t
going to develop dependency but they might have temporary problems from
substances use at festivals and that could be drug-related overdose. It could be mental
health issues things like that so it’s really important they can have a safe
space to come to and access care and support. For me the strength of
festival welfare are you know things like peer support and people can get
non-judgmental and credible information and advice. So a lot of people experience
drug-related harms at festivals probably would never go to a normal drug
service so it’s a really important way to be able to reach people that wouldn’t
otherwise maybe engage with drug support. It’s really important as
well that people have access to mental health services so there’s you know much
more mental health issues and the moment and difficulty accessing
treatment so again at festivals somewhere that people might have you
know a bit of a flare up of some like symptoms like anxiety or depression and
So strengths are that you know you can again meet people that would never otherwise
be in treatment. Other strengths I guess are also it gives people the
chance that if maybe they want to give something back they can volunteer such
initiatives as well so you know it’s really great ethos of peer
education and people take advice often much better from people that have maybe
some personal experience whether that’s past or present. So I guess limitations are in festival welfare
rules there are that’s one part of the solution and but equally there
needs to be things like drug checking It’s really also important that
people take responsibility for their own drug use as well. Welfare can only
help to a certain extent people actually need to practice like safety information
and good harm reduction as well other limitations are budgets that festivals often have. It can be sometimes quite difficult having enough funds to have a
really good welfare team there and so that can be a bit of an issue
sometimes. Well certainly it’s the services that Chill Welfare work at
people self refer to the service. You can be brought by the medical teams
on site. They can be brought by security and so rather than someone be evicted
They’ll you know we try and ensure that they can stay at the festival so
they can be brought by way. Friends will bring people in. So pretty
much it’s very easy to access and it’s just about either friends, services or
people themselves just coming along if they feel like they haven’t a bit of a
difficult time. you

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