HomeDomestic News"Innovative project at Roskilde Festival empowers volunteers with disabilities"

“Innovative project at Roskilde Festival empowers volunteers with disabilities”

An innovative project at Roskilde Festival explores how young people with disabilities can thrive as volunteers. The goal is to include everyone, regardless of their challenges. In Frivilligbyen (Volunteer City), a group of young people with special needs participate in a pilot project, where they are responsible for making coffee for other volunteers. Their workday starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 a.m.

On Friday morning, 26-year-old Jonas Olsson and 29-year-old Martin Nissen Pedersen were on duty. Jonas Olsson, who has ADHD, says: “I think it’s a really good volunteer task. I can experience the festival in a completely different way. For many years, I have wanted to go to the festival, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to handle a regular volunteer task.” Martin Nissen Pedersen, who has Asperger’s and ADD, adds: “It’s great to have something to get up for, instead of just being at home all day. It’s rewarding to show up here and have a responsibility.”

Their tasks are equivalent to those of other volunteers, but under adapted conditions, such as shorter shifts. This is necessary for their well-being. “I quickly get tired if I work for a longer time. I get completely burned out when I come home,” says Martin Nissen Pedersen. Jonas Olsson agrees and notes that he would not be able to participate as a volunteer in a normal way without getting exhausted.

Behind the project are, among others, Rasmus Pedersen, bar manager at Bar Rock and Volunteers Lounge in Frivilligbyen. He has been working for many years to implement such a project. “My immediate assessment is that it has been a success. They have shown up and done their job,” he says.

Each shift consists of four young people and a mentor, and there is deliberately not work for everyone all the time. This ensures that there is room for necessary breaks. The purpose is to gather knowledge and experiences so that Roskilde Festival can offer a good experience for volunteers with disabilities in the future.

Annette Jorn, deputy director for HR, organization, and volunteering at Roskilde Festival, explains: “We are investigating what we need to be aware of in terms of the conditions they need. It could, for example, be a special flexibility in hours, reduced working hours, access to quieter areas, and tasks where, for example, there is less walking.”

Read the danish version here

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