22 - 25 August 2014, Boughton House



Making It Happen: Ruth Amos

This week is National Volunteers' Week, and along with voluntary organisations and charities all over the country we're taking this opportunity to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our fantastic volunteers. Greenbelt has over 1,600 volunteers during the festival weekend and throughout the year. We’ll be featuring a few of them here this week - finding out who they are, what they do and what makes them volunteer. There'll be new blog posts on Volunteering at Greenbelt every day from June 1st to 7th. For all Volunteers' Week posts, click here.

Ruth Amos is one of the new leaders of the Taxi team onsite at Greenbelt. The taxi team operate throughout the weekend, driving golf buggies around the site, giving lifts to people who don’t want to walk too far.

She's been coming for six years, coming initially with her youth group. She told us her first Greenbelt was very exciting as it was the first time they had been allowed to go away on their own.

Two years ago, she was planning to come to the festival with a friend, when her friend unexpectedly couldn't attend. She was coming to the festival with a group of people, but as there was no-one else of her age she decided to volunteer as a way of meeting new people.

She wanted to do something useful and went to the Volunteer website to see which teams she might be able to join. She thought the taxis looked interesting and contacted the team leader, and has volunteered there since. The 2010 festival will be her first as joint team leader.

What does she get out of volunteering at the festival?

Volunteering is lots of fun and I have met some great people. Everyone is there because they want to be involved – not for the money or because they have to be. Everyone works together and enjoys themselves at the same time. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the festival and meet new people.

Volunteering at the festival doesn't necessarily mean that you do something in a similar field to your day job. In Ruth's case, as well as meeting people, volunteering is an opportunity to use skills gathered in the workplace in a new and different environment.

In 2006, while still at school, she won the Young Engineer of the Year award for the project she completed as part of her GCSE exam in RM (Resistant Materials). The product she designed was called the Stairsteady, and she set up her own company to produce and sell the product. She also makes public speaking appearances on the subject of business and entrepreneurism, and was featured as one of Management Today's "Heroines For Hard Times" in their annual 35 Women Under 35 list .

Although used to running a business and managing people, volunteering at Greenbelt has given her the opportunity to learn more customer care and team work skills, including mastering the challenges of prioritising tasks and getting things done. She sees her volunteering as a chance to put her problem-solving skills to good use.

And despite all this activity over the festival weekend, there's still time to soak up the Greenbelt atmosphere:-

I love it in the evening when it starts to get dark and there’s the sound of drumming from the Chai chapel and the great smell of food and tea. Its such a warm atmosphere – even when its raining!

For more information on volunteering at Greenbelt, see our Volunteers section. It features a full list of teams, and a skills page to match your skills to volunteer roles.

To hear some more of our volunteers, and to get an audio introduction to volunteering at the festival, listen to our February podcast on the subject of Greenbelt Handmade.

If you have any questions, email our Volunteer Co-ordinator Linda Watson at volunteers@greenbelt.org.uk.

Festival Fever