Our committed and enthusiastic team of volunteers help us deliver the Festival with many coming back every year.
We recruit about 80 volunteers to support our Festival in a variety of roles. Ahead of the Festival we organise volunteer briefing sessions and provide Festival t-shirts and name badges to wear at events.
In the run up to the Festival, volunteers help distribute marketing material, such as posters, fliers and programmes.
During the Festival volunteers support events by:
- welcoming the audience
- helping with queries or requirements at our venues
- managing microphones at the Q&A sessions
- supporting authors at book signings
- carrying out questionnaires with audience members after events
Each event is managed by a Lead Volunteer who briefs the team of volunteers before the start of each event. Volunteers are often able to attend the event they are supporting.
Following the festival, we invite all our volunteers to a celebration event to thank them for their support.
To celebrate the great work our volunteers do, we asked them to tell us some of their Festival experiences, their favourite events and highlights. Here are just a few:
Hilary on her first experience of the Festival in 2019:
“Last year was the first time for me and I helped at the children’s day held at QUAD. The weather was not kind to us and most of the activities planned for the Market Place had to be cancelled or somehow squeezed into QUAD. The weather didn’t deter people coming and the day was really well attended and great fun. I particularly enjoyed the Storyteller, Julie Ann Cooper. She was fantastic. The children watching were enthralled. It was lovely to meet other volunteers and I am looking forward to hopefully helping with more events. A massive thank you from me to everyone involved”.
Lead Volunteer, Steph, looks back on the 2018 Festival:
“My first lead volunteer event was for a friend and wonderful lady, Jo Jakeman. Her first novel, Sticks and Stones, had me riveted. A must read.
‘Sleepover’ at Derby Museums was superbly organised and, although very little sleep took place, it was fabulous and I would do it again.
Libby Jackson. Wow. What a lady. Hugely inspirational for adults and children alike. Wanted to work at NASA mission control and made it happen. A Galaxy of Her Own is going to be a treasured book in this household I'm sure.
And finally, my last, and possibly most favourite, event was Tim Bentinck. I wasn't expecting to go, but I was in the right place at the right time. Wow. Fabulous and interesting. Lovely guy. I grew up listening to The Archers and occasionally still catch it when in the car. Wonderful to hear about the inner workings of the show and his life as David Archer. I bought the book for my Mum!”
If you would like to get involved, we’d love to hear from you.