Thursday November 10, 2016
Brendon McIlroy (pictured about with the torch), WEF's event manager, chats to us about his role and working with the many volunteers who help WEF each year.
How long have you worked with WEF and what kind of role do you play?
2016 has been my 10th consecutive year working with the West End Festival. Over the last decade I’ve worked in various capacities from managing small scale stages and artist co-ordination to planning, organisation and on-site events management. WEF is the most fun I have all year and I enjoy every aspect of my job!
Why did you get involved in WEF?
I had always been a huge fan of the festival, especially the June Mardis Gras parade which is known as being one of the biggest and brightest events in the UK. I felt that I had the skills and experience to help the team go from strength to strength and ensure WEF continued to provide the consistent high quality, innovative and accessible events we have become known for.
Why do you think people like volunteering for WEF?
Our events can be described in one word- ‘fun’. Our volunteers are exceptionally well looked after, valued and receive guidance and supervision from experienced events professionals throughout their time with us. We ensure our volunteers get as much out of the experience as possible and provide references on request for their involvement. Participation in the WEF also looks great on a CV and can open doors, e.g. some of our previous volunteers have become regular, paid members of our events team.
What kind of people do you meet?
As a volunteer at any WEF event you will meet a myriad of individuals from bagpipers, samba-drummers, choirs, belly dancers and fire performers to our colourful and diverse audience. I’ve developed a lot of lifelong friendships and professional relationships through working with WEF.
What sort of things will volunteers for the Torchlight Parade be doing?
Glasgow's St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade is an innovative event with lots of tasks and responsibilities our volunteers will be assigned to. As well as looking after our performers, the team will be assisting with distribution of torches, dealing with public enquiries and ultimately ensuring the safe passage of the parade. As with any event of this magnitude- we’d need our volunteers to be pro-active and provide support when needed.
Can kids get involved or do volunteers need to be adults?
Due to the nature of this event we are looking for volunteers to be 16+. Sorry kids :)
Can anyone volunteer or do they have to be from the west end?
Anyone can volunteer regardless of where they live. Despite WEF being based in the west end we attract people from near and far!
Will volunteers get a special top to wear?
All volunteers will be supplied with a WEF branded high-vis vest due to the event taking place at night-time. We would require volunteers to be wrapped up and prepared for the cold as Glasgow isn’t exactly known for its warm November weather!
Can a local organisation send staff to help?
Absolutely. We welcome volunteers from local groups and organisations.
It’s important to mention that despite these being voluntary positions -they are limited and coveted so we expect our volunteers to be committed and give 100% on the day!
Are you interested in volunteering at Glasgow's St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade on Saturday, 26 November? Drop Brendon an email firstname.lastname@example.org