A few weekends ago saw the V Festival take over Chelmsford’s Hylands Park for four days of good music, incredible sunshine and rows and rows of rainbow tents! Not only that, but it also saw some of CAFOD’s team set out to meet the festivallers to get them involved with the charity’s work. I went along to meet the team on the Sunday and grill them as to how they had set about this task…
CAFOD have been visiting V for over 11 years. I spoke to Olli, a volunteer from Southwark Diocese, about what CAFOD at V Fest was all about.
This year the CAFOD tent saw the juggling skills of volunteers Olli and Siobhan (who had mastered the task only the week before – impressive work!), a giant Jenga tower, CAFOD Great Generation temporary tattoos and even some Fairtrade goodies to munch on (a nice alternative to your typical festival food!) Visitors could also sign the Big Ball as part of the Don’t Drop the Ball Campaign. But, Olli told me, the key element was the roving team, who spent the weekend heading out to the crowds and mingling with the festival-goers in order to get them on board and to show their support by signing the campaign postcards. Fantastically, over the two days the team managed to get 919 signatures, all of which will be sent to the Chancellor, George Osbourne MP.
A lot of the people that visit are newbies to CAFOD – the stall was right next to the Undercover tent, a space for new and up-and-coming bands to perform, and so an ideal position for the team to spread the word and meet new people. The band The Enemy performed on the Saturday and as a pretty well known band they carried a pretty big crowd – so a lot of people swung by the CAFOD stall post-performance to see what it was about.
I asked Olli how he enjoyed bringing CAFOD’s work to the festival. He said that it was great fun – their team of 12 people got to get out and about and talk to all the young people there. Plus they got to see the bands at the end of the day – bonus! The CAFOD stall used to be organised by the Campaigns team, but it’s now in the hands of the nearby Brentwood office who run it every year, including Denice Grierson who I also spoke to on the day.
So what was the highlight of the V Team 2011’s weekend? Positioned right next to one of the VIP gates, the guys saw the likes of Dr Who and Skins stars Nicholas Hoult, Kaya Scodelario and Jack O’Connell – the latter even swung by the stall to get involved! Robert Sheehan, who plays Nathan in E4 comedy-drama Misfits, also paid a visit, along with Pixie Lott who posed for a photo with some of the volunteers.
And what was the best part of my V fest weekend, besides meeting the CAFOD team? The hot bath waiting for me at home, of course! And the fact that my CAFOD tattoo didn’t wash off. Fabbbulous!
Catherine Mitchell, 19
CAFOD Southwark Volunteer
And if you haven’t added your signature to the Don’t Drop the Ball Campaign then please do so – and encourage your friends and family to get on board too!