Welcome Volunteers!

This page of the website is here as a resource for you to use in the run up to and during the festival. Below you will find important contact information, a copy of our volunteer guidelines which sums up everything you need to know for your shift, and recap videos of all the training sessions.

Contact info

  • Phil Rushworth, Volunteer Coordinator: volunteers@plymouthartweekender.com / 07971 692738
  • Lucy Stella Rollins, Festival Coordinator: coordinator@plymouthartweekender.com / 07549 158552
  • (Please use the phone number to text or call during the festival as our emails won't be checked very regularly once the Weekender begins)
  • Emergency: ambulance, fire brigade and police: 999
  • Non-emergency police services: 101

Volunteer Guidelines 

  • Your safety is the most important thing. We do not expect you to put yourselves in difficult situations or do anything that might put you or others at risk
  • You should have completed the Health and Safety Training session or watched the catch up video before volunteering. The video is available at the bottom of this page if you need to recap on any of it
  • If you feel threatened or unsafe, remove yourself from the situation and contact one of the Festival Team. This includes instances where social distancing is not being observed and cannot be resolved with polite instruction from you
  • In the unlikely event of a medical emergency/fire/violence please dial 999 first, then contact the Festival Team
  • Please keep your mobile phone charged and with you at all times and be aware of where your nearest fellow volunteer or member of the Festival Team is in case you need them. Save the Festival Team numbers in your phone in case you need to contact them urgently
  • Although we might ask you to invigilate art works, you are not responsible for the safety of venues. If any situation arises that worries or concerns you, (for example with regards to safety, artworks, venues, or the public) let a member of the Festival Team know and they will resolve it

General COVID-19 safety

We are asking everyone involved in the festival, including participating artists and venues, to take some extra precautions this year to make sure everyone is safe. These include:

  • Maintaining a 2-metre distance between yourself and others wherever possible.
  • Wearing a face covering indoors (including inside our info hub).
  • Considering also wearing a face covering outside if there are lots of people.
  • Washing or sanitising your hands regularly, especially after touching your face or any shared surfaces.
  • Avoiding unnecessarily touching others, shared surfaces, or shared objects
  • Not gathering together in groups of more than 6 people, unless you are part of a single household

It is important that you do not attend your shift if you or any of your household are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms. These are currently considered to be: 

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough 
  • a loss of taste or smell

If you have any of these symptoms before or during your shift you should stay home, book a test through the NHS website and let us know.

As a volunteer we will ask you to politely remind members of the public of the guidelines if they are not following them. You may also be asked to help us manage queuing, making sure that people maintain social distancing and counting people in and out of a venue. If at any point the situation becomes unmanageable you should call the Festival Team who will come and sort out the situation.

In some venues you may be asked to help sanitise surfaces (with gloves on) or to wear gloves to help distribute our paper guides. The gloves are latex-free, but please let us know if you have any other allergies or health concerns which might prevent you from wearing gloves. 

We will have single-use face masks and hand sanitiser available, but please do feel free to bring your own if you would like. Masks should be replaced regularly and if you're using your own reusable face masks these should be washed at 60 degrees after each shift.

We recommend also washing your outer clothes at 60 degrees after your shift. 

Our Volunteer Hub

Our volunteer hub this year is at Millfields HQ Business Centre at  237 Union Street, Stonehouse, PL1 3HQ. We will be using the side door (as shown below) for access, and you will need a member of the Festival Team to let you in (please call ahead if you need to access the space during your shift).

Rhizome artist collective have kindly donated their space for the duration of the festival. This is usually where you will start and finish your shift.

There is a covered bike rack just outside. CityBus routes 5 and 21/21A both stop on Union Street. There is nearby public parking on Martin Street (PL1 3LT), at Western Approach and at Derry’s Cross.

Arriving for your shift

  • Please arrive for your shift on time, or slightly before. We will be staggering volunteer shift start times in order to limit the number of people at the volunteer hub at any one time so it is important that you are punctual.
  • At your start time we will come and meet you and take you up to the volunteer hub where we will check you in, brief you on your shift, and give you your pink cap and everything else you need. On arrival we will also take your temperature and ask a few quick questions to make sure you have no symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Please maintain a 2-metre distance from others whilst waiting to be let in. If it is wet there is a covered bike rack next to the doorway you can use for shelter. Please phone us if you are lost or having any other problems. 

Looking after yourself

  • The majority of our shifts this year will be outside so please make sure you bring warm layers and waterproofs and wear comfortable footwear. If it is sunny you may also want to bring sun cream. If at any point during your shift you get too cold or wet let us know and we will make sure you are relieved so you can warm up!
  • We recommend bringing a bottle of water and snacks. Because COVID-19 may make buying food a bit more complex this year, you might want to consider bringing a packed lunch too. 
  • Please let the Festival Team know of any existing medical conditions, and do not take on any tasks you feel may put you at risk of injury or which make you uncomfortable. 
  • You will have a scheduled break but do let the Festival Team know if you need to take another break. If there is no one around to take your place then contact a member of the Festival Team who will arrange cover for you.


  • There are public toilets on Armada Way, at Place De Brest, in the Drakes Circus shopping centre and at the Volunteer Hub.
  • In addition, Plymouth School of Creative Arts, Leadworks, The Plot, Ocean Studios and Plymouth University all have their own toilets. Our weekender map includes public toilets, and all venues with toilets have a symbol next to their listing in the guide, as well as on their website listing.

Dealing with members of the public

  • Please be friendly and helpful at all times. If someone enters a venue or approaches you, smile and say hello / welcome / can I help?  
  • If you are asked questions which you don’t know the answer to, just be honest, and try to direct them to somewhere with more information: the guide, the website and the PAW Information Hub in the city centre are good places to start. See buttons below to link quickly to places where information can be found (and don't worry, some of these pages don't have much on them yet but they will do as we get closer to the Weekender)
  • If an audience member is upset/worked up about an aspect of the Weekender, try asking them questions about why, listen to their responses/grievances and let them know you’ll pass their comments on.
  • You do not need to continue talking with upset audience members if they make you feel threatened or uncomfortable and you can contact one of the Festival Team in these instances. 
  • We’re keen to know what people think, so please note down any comments and ask people to provide their email for our online survey, if they're willing.

Accidents and emergencies

If you, another volunteer or a member of the public is involved in an accident during the festival or there is an emergency you will need to contact the Festival Team so that we can deal with it. 

If there is a life threatening or serious emergency please call 999 before alerting the Festival Team. Ideally you will ask another volunteer, if they are available, to call us whilst you call 999. 

By a serious emergency we mean:

  • An accident that causes serious bodily harm
  • If someone looks like they are having a heart attack or cannot breathe
  • An outbreak of fire
  • Road or traffic accidents
  • Violent behaviour or immediate threats of violence
  • Any other situation where there is an immediate serious risk to your or other people’s safety.


  • In the event of a fire please evacuate yourself and make sure that a call to 999 has been made before calling the festival team. Volunteers are not responsible for making sure members of the public evacuate any buildings, you must keep yourself safe at all times.
  • If there is a fire at the Volunteer Hub, please gather and wait in the car park, next to Union Street.
  • If there is a fire at the Information Hub, please gather and wait on the Piazza towards the road (Royal Parade) between the pedestrian crossing lights (but not on the road).

First Aid 

First Aid Point: tbc

  • Your PAW First Aiders are Phil Rushworth, Lucy Rollins, Rosie Bowery, Rhys Morgan and Ellen Sims. They are responsible for looking after you if you get any injuries or sudden illnesses during your volunteer shifts.
  • If you hurt yourself or feel unwell during your shift you must stop working and inform a member of the Festival Team immediately. If you are on your own please phone a member of the Festival Team immediately, or if there is another volunteer nearby ask them to phone on your behalf. A first-aider will come to you, or if you have a very minor injury you may be asked to meet us at our First Aid Point.
  • It is a requirement that an incident report form is filled out for all accidents, even very minor ones, so please do let us know.
  • Please do not attempt first aid on the public or each other unless you have received training or feel very confident that you know what to do. This is especially important this year as we will be putting additional safety measures in place for First Aiders


It’s important that we make sure that children and vulnerable adults visiting the Plymouth Art Weekender are kept safe.

  • Be friendly but don’t touch or hug children, young people under 18 or vulnerable adults. 
  • You should never take an unaccompanied child to another location and there must always be two adult PAW team members or volunteers present with any child who is not accompanied by a responsible adult or guardian. 
  • Don’t take photos of children without their parents permission and be mindful of taking photos of adults who may be vulnerable.
  • If a lost child comes to you for help, stay with them (with another volunteer) and call us so we can help them.

Volunteer Training

Health and Safety briefing

It is mandatory for all volunteers and anyone working on the festival to have a health and safety briefing. If you were unable to attend the Zoom session as it happened, or you need a recap, you can watch it below. 

After you have watched the video you will need to complete the recap quiz to confirm that you have watched the briefing and understood the key points*

Please take the quiz after watching the briefing and submit your answers before midnight on Wednesday the 23rd September. 

*please note that the designated muster point in the event of a fire was pointed out to be confusing, during the recording of the video. The location is the same, but the big screen is no longer there, so please meet on the Piazza near Royal Parade between the crossing lights. See 'fires' section above for image and map.

Talking to the public about art

This was a practical workshop that involved some group discussions and exercises to practice the kinds of questions and conversations you might have on the day. The video below summarises the session and gives you some valuable tips and pointers for responding to the public. 

Introduction to Plymouth Art Weekender and the commissions

This session was a briefing by festival coordinator Lucy Stella Rollins about this year's three Plymouth Art Weekender commissions and some of the other public realm projects.

Sorry that this recording is in two parts, Lucy lost her Zoom connection half way through which also ended the recording. The missed portion was just discussing volunteers being places at the Lockdown Tarot commission.