accessibility & help

Red Cross provides support during Glastonbury

23 June 2009

First aid male volunteer with police officerBRC

As tens of thousands of partygoers make their way to the Glastonbury festival, one intrepid Red Cross volunteer team is on standby to deal with any emergencies or injuries that may arise.

Over the course of the Glastonbury weekend (25-29 June), literally tens of thousands of festival-goers pass through the tiny Castle Cary train station, inevitably bringing with them all kinds of injuries and upsets.

But luckily, there’s always a Red Cross first aid team – equipped with a first aid marquee and ambulance – waiting to help out.

Major incidents

According to Graham Kerridge, service manager: “For the past four years there has been some kind of major incident and I wouldn’t be surprised if something happens again this week. But that’s what we’re here for.”

Last year, a fire at a nearby car scrap-yard blocked nearby roads, leaving up to 1,000 people stranded in the baking sun at the station. A team of eight tireless volunteers spent hours providing bottled water, first aid and emotional support to hundreds of music fans. The last bus didn’t leave until midnight.

Big challenges

Graham added: “It’s usually okay when people arrive. Our work really begins when they return four days later – hungry, tired and festivalled out. If it’s wet, people tend to be under-dressed, suffering from exposure and a little traumatised. If it’s hot, then we’ll see cases of sunstroke and heat exhaustion, along with the usual cuts and bruises.”

Despite the challenges, Glastonbury remains a perennial favourite with the Red Cross volunteers. As Graham put it: “Obviously, we all look forward to being directly involved in one of the highlights of the event year. The festival-goers are generally a great bunch of people and it’s good to know that we’re on hand to help out anyone who needs us.”
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