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Project information

Festival Samaritans

Every year Festival Branch of Samaritans supports over 7,000 people at festivals up and down the country. Our volunteers provide 24 hour support at a range of events, predominately targeting those who would not normal use our service such as young people, bikers and military personnel.

April 2012 - March 2013

Charity information: Samaritans

Samaritans logo
  • Need


    In 2009 there was 2,930 suicides amongst 15-44 year olds in the UK, the highest of any age group; 5% of 16-24 year olds attempted suicide compared with 2% of 65-75 year olds (National Office of Statistics); and it has been documented that the UK has one of the highest self harm rates in Europe with 400 cases per 100,000 (Horrocks et al, 2003), with young people being most at risk of self harming behaviour.


    With vulnerable young people in mind, Samaritans set up a unique branch nearly 40 years ago, designed to make our support available 24 hours a day at major festivals and outdoor events across the UK. Festival branch mainly attends music festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, but they also offer support at other large gatherings, such as dance, biker or surfing events. Festival branch reaches new audiences as most festival goers do not proactively seek out Samaritans.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To proactively speak to more people in need at festivals or events in 2012.


    » Attend a further nine events this year, which will be attended by a range of people, inlcuding young people, bikers and the homeless community.

    What success will look like

    Success will be having 9,387 conversations with people wanting to talk at festivals in 2012. This is a 10% increase on the number of people our volunteers spoke with in 2011.

  • Impact


    We aim to break down barriers or misconceptions around our service by having a strong visibility at events which are predominately attended by groups which are considered to be at high risk of suicide or self-harm and least likely to seek support. Success will be an increase in visibility at events over the next 3 years, hoping to be seen by over 400,000 festival goes, an increase of over 30% each year.


    One risk is that not many people will see Festival Branch at an event. We have dealt with this by building strong relationships with organisers to secure desirable and visible pitches at festivals. We also ensure that the tent is well lit so can be seen day or night.


    Funders of this project can expect to receive a twice yearly email report on the developments of Festival Branch's activities. This will include an update of the work already achieved, forthcoming activities and any major developments to this project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £76,070

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,000 Equipment Purchase, storage & maintenance, health and safety
      £8,695 Admin Directors and committee meetings, Auditors Office costs, printing, fundraising, publicity
      £20,600 Ongoing training Volunteer training, meetings + travel expenses
      £27,000 Travel to events Volunteer travel costs and van hire for equipment
      £7,525 Catering Festival catering costs
      £5,250 Recruitment Volunteer recruitment costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Major Donor £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Festival Branch attend events throughout England and Wales, including the Isle of Wight and the Isle of Mann. The events are not exclusively for local residents and guests from throughout the UK, ROI and Europe frequently attend.


    It is not just festival/ event attendees that will benefit from this project. Our volunteers usually arrive at an event a day or two before the public. During this time, organisers, security and other stall venders are able to use and benefit from Samaritans confidential service.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Samaritans is the leading charity in offering emotional support to those in need. We answered our first call for help in November 1953 and our service has been evolving since them. With vunerable young people in mind, Samaritans set up this unique branch nearly 40 years ago, and has been offering 24 hour support to festival goers since then.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Festival Branch Volunteers

    Festival Branch is reliant on the time and effort offered up by their 85 volunteers, who are a split of brick branch listeners, ex-listeners and new.