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Event stewards and volunteers

You can't run a large event on your own, so you will need to have stewards or volunteer staff available on the day.  Stewards are usually paid, whereas volunteers offer their time free of charge.

You have the same responsibilities for both volunteers and employees under The Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and related regulations.

Stewards need to:

  • Be fit, active and 18 or over
  • Be easily identifiable, e.g. wearing fluorescent jackets or long sleeved tabards
  • Know the site layout, including entrances, exits first aid posts, lost children points and the location of fire fighting equipment
  • Be provided with any necessary equipment, such as radios and torches

Stewards can be used for crowd control, directing traffic and keeping an eye on what is going on in different areas of the event.

If you’re going to use volunteers, be clear about what you want them to do.  Do not expect volunteers to tackle anything you wouldn’t do yourself. Make sure they receive any relevant safety training they need, e.g. manual handling.

You will need to make sure they know they are making a commitment to you.  They must let you know if they cannot make it on a certain day or need to leave early so that you can make alternative arrangements.  You should still be prepared for some of them not to turn up on the day.

You should also offer to reimburse any genuine expenses the volunteers may have.

You can ask for volunteers from various organisations such as:

  • Scout groups
  • Local cadets
  • Rotary Clubs
  • Round Table
  • Schools
  • Colleges

You could also contact Volunteer Cornwall.  Another option is to ask for volunteers through your local radio station or newspaper.

There’s more guidance about health and safety for volunteers in HSE: What Do Voluntary Organisations Have to Do?