Valuable volunteers invited to share their passion for a successful festival

Posted: 29.05.12

The South Pennines Walk and Ride Festival is entering its fifth year this September and each year it has become ever more popular, thanks to its dedicated team of volunteers.

And now, the recently appointed festival coordinator, Jan Robinson, is hoping to make the festival of 2012 even more successful by inviting all current and future volunteer walk and ride leaders, as well as new volunteers in different spheres, to shape it into a dynamic and vibrant volunteer-centred event that everyone wants to join.

“Historically, the efforts of the volunteers have been fantastic but there has been no opportunity for them to get together to meet one another. This year we’d like to bring everyone together to create the festival; so people can share experiences and feel part of something exciting,” explained Jan.

To do this there will be an Open Space: Open Meeting on Tuesday, June 12, between 2pm and 7pm, at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield. The event will have two sessions into which volunteers can feed their ideas and views.
“Every year the festival is made possible only due to the immense effort, creativity and enthusiasm of the volunteers who host events, so we want this opportunity to say thank you,” explained Jan, who has invited existing volunteers but would also like to extend the invitation to anyone interested in getting involved.

“We are looking at ways to make the festival sustainable in the future, so the event on June 12 will include two open space sessions giving everyone an opportunity to put forward their ideas, stories, experiences and questions about this and future festivals.

“If you cannot make this event on June 12 but you have any ideas please get in touch beforehand and I will try to include your comments in the discussion,” added Jan.

Traditionally volunteers have been leaders of walks, cycle rides or horse rides but this year there will be many more ways of getting involved from guerrilla reporters, who will chat to people about their experiences at the festival, to social media aficionados, who could spread the festival word through cyber space. Volunteers are invited to discuss these new ideas and bring their own to the meeting to inspire and energise the debate and ensure the festival is the event of the year in which to participate.

Funding for the festival is being made available through the South Pennines LEADER programme (the Rural Development Programme for England), which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union, and managed by Pennine Prospects.

As there will be a free buffet, numbers are needed for catering. Anyone interested in attending is asked to email Jan at with “Open Space Open Meeting” in the subject line or telephone 01422 846049 or 07582 101384.

For more information please visit the Walk and Ride Festival website.

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