Glasto volunteers are facing a worthy, yet grim, challenge

Volunteering at Glastonbury Festival sounds like one of the great experiences of a lifetime. But what if that meant cleaning the toilets used by thousands of revellers across five days?

Or picking up litter and ensuring waste is properly recycled across the famous Worthy Farm festival site, while others rock out to the likes of Sam Fender and Sir Paul McCartney?

David Groark at Glastonbury for WaterAid

Those are among the tasks being carried out by six volunteers from Northumbrian Water, who will be there supporting the global charity WaterAid.

A partner of Glastonbury since 1994, Wateraid’s volunteers support the festival’s water and sanitation services and highlight the charity’s work to provide clean water and sanitation to the 771 million people living without clean water and the 1.7 billion with nowhere safe to go to the toilet.

The ‘dream clean team’ of six water workers are:

Marc Taylor, from Brotton, near Saltburn, who is part of the Good Loos team, keeping the composting toilets clean and the handwashing facilities well stocked.

David Groark, from Seaham, who is on the Water Team – refilling water bottles with free tap water from kiosks and bars, as well as selling Glastonbury water bottles to attendees.

Kathryn Cherry, from Gateshead, and Judith Huffee from Durham, who are part of the female urinal team, where music fans can use PEEQUAL units that are quick, safe and sustainable female urinals that don’t require disposable funnels.

Melanie Roberts, from Northumberland, and Camille Hilditch, from Cassop, County Durham, who are on the Recycling team. They will be picking up litter and ensuring the waste is properly recycled across the Glastonbury site.

As well as helping make the festival experience even more enjoyable for everyone, the worthy team of WaterAid volunteers will also raise awareness of the millions of people who are denied access to clean water and decent toilets, and how climate change is making life even harder.

David said: “I’ve volunteered for WaterAid at Glastonbury before and I’m so glad to be on the Water team this year. The sale of single-use plastic bottles is banned at Glastonbury, so keeping people hydrated is hugely important.

“Having been on the toilets teams in the past, I don’t envy Marc and I’ll be looking forward to keeping my hands as clean as possible this year!”

Judith added: “Northumbrian Water was among the founders of WaterAid in 1981 and we continue to raise funds to support their work around the world, ultimately helping people to get even the most basic of hydration and sanitation facilities, things that it’s easy for people here to take for granted.

“We will be working six hour shifts, which represents the amount of time many in the developed world, mostly women and girls, spend collecting water each day.”

Updates on the team’s work at Glastonbury will be shared across Northumbrian Water social media channels, throughout the festival, which runs from Wednesday 22 June to Sunday 26 June.



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