Where to go for help
All info contained below is relevant for 2018 and will be updated for 2019 soon.
At Reading 2018 we had a number of services in place where you could go for help 24/7. Maybe you or the people you were with had taken something or were too drunk and you felt uncomfortable in your situation.
The services we offer onsite are there for you to ask for help, without being judged and the appropriate help will be given.
All of the services listed below are here to help you. You are our primary concern and we want to ensure you are safe and well first and foremost. These services are confidential and we will put you first, so please don’t be afraid to seek help no matter what your problem is.
At Reading many people will be having a great time but inevitably there will be some who are not. Sometimes people can arrive hoping to forget about their problems, but being at an event can sometime make them feel even worse. Others can arrive feeling relatively OK, but something happens during the event which leaves them feeling low.
That’s where Samaritans fit in. Samaritans will give you the time and space to talk things through, so you can find a way through your problems.
Samaritans help you to explore your options so you can make decisions that are right for you.
Talk to us any time you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you.
If you feel you need to talk, in complete confidence, please come by and see Samaritans in the Green Campsite by the Captains Cross Roads.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army marquee is located at the end of Scott Street (Green Campsite) and will be open during the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 22nd August, and then 24/7 from 7am on Thursday until mid-morning on Monday 27th.
Our volunteers will be selling tea, coffee, bottled water, soup, plain rolls and muffins at ‘not for profit’ prices – and, for a small donation, we’re happy to provide hot water for those all-important Pot Noodles! We’ll also have a limited supply of sleeping bags so that we can help out anyone who’s had theirs lost or damaged.
As well as serving reasonably priced refreshments, we’re also happy to welcome festival goers who just want to come along and have a chat. We’re good at providing a listening ear and will do our best to help sort out any problems, and if we can’t help, we’ll use our knowledge and experience to signpost people to someone who can.
We will have two tents, one in Orange campsite & the other in brown. We are open from Wednesday 22nd August through to Monday 27th August. They are seen as “chill out” tents where people can come & have refreshments & snacks. It is a safe place for people that are often feeling overwhelmed by the amount of people on site or just need somewhere to go & sit. We have a football table, connect 4 & various games. We fill up pot noodle pots.
We also patrol the campsite from Thursday lunchtime through to Sunday/Monday 02:00. Looking out for vulnerable people, sign posting them to the right places.
Safe Gigs for Women
Safe Gigs for Women is an initiative established by regular gig goers with the aim of creating a safer environment for women at gigs. Our aims are to work with gig goers to spread the word that it is not okay to grope, threaten or harass others. Encourage victims to speak out, and supporters to advocate that this behaviour will not be tolerated
Safe Gigs for Women will be based in the Green Campsite and will feature heavily on the Festival Republic help map. They will tackle all sexual harassment, not only against women.
The Red Cross and our brand new ‘Safe Hubs’
The Safe Mates campaign has been introduced to encourage festival goers to look after each other and spot warning signs early.
The Safe Mates campaign will be promoted via ‘Safe Hub’s in each campsite. These new hubs will be staffed by the British Red Cross 24/7 and will serve as a safe and confidential space where you can go if you need a bit of help or are concerned about one of your mates or another festival goer. There will be 2 additional members of staff roaming in your campsites to keep you as safe as possible.
The British Red Cross will be providing onsite welfare support through Safe Mates. This is a service to encourage festival goers to look after each other and gain peer to peer support from British Red Cross youth volunteers. We provide a safe confidential space for people to come and ask for help or just have a chat.
Please remember that it is our goal to help you. If you are living with mental health and need a chat or a safe space to chat the Safe Hubs are here to help. If you have taken any drugs and feel like you need some help without judgement then the team from the Red Cross are there to assist you and get you the help you need. Remember – do not be afraid to get help. Your well-being and safety is our number 1 priority.
Reading Festival Welfare – Operated by National Welfare Services
The Welfare Tent is open 24 hours and is staffed by experienced and supportive people who understand festivals. They can give confidential advice about drugs, alcohol, legal highs and sexual health and offer support if you need someone to talk to for any reason. They offer a monitored rest & recovery area if you’ve overdone it and can arrange a place to crash if you find yourself stranded. They also care for lost children & vulnerable people. For more information visit www.eventwelfare.co.uk.
If this is your first time going to a festival then check out this festival guide for tips.
Festival Medical Services
In an emergency:
Alert a steward or a security person who will know the way to the nearest medical facility and will be able to contact Medical by radio.
Depending on the problem, you may be advised to go to a medical point, or a medical response may be sent to you. This could be an ambulance, paramedic or first responder.
MEDICAL FACILITIES ON SITE
Main Medical Centre (24 hours)
- Yellow Area, not far from the main Arena Gate
Staff at the medical centre are fully qualified professionals who are experienced in working at festivals. The centre is equipped to deal with everything from cuts and bruises to major trauma and cardiac arrest. Whenever it can be done safely, people are treated on site and very few have to be sent to hospital.
As well as doctors and nurses, the medical team includes physiotherapists, podiatrists, a mental health team and an X ray unit. There is a 24 hour pharmacy.
White Campsite Medical Unit (24 hours)
- White Camping across bridge over the River Thames
This is a smaller unit staffed by nurses, paramedics and first responders. It is set up to deal with minor injuries and illnesses; more serious conditions may need to be referred to the main medical centre.
Arena First Aid and Advice Point (during Arena opening hours)
- Next to the Information Point in the middle of the Arena
This unit provides basic first aid, advice and signposting to the facilities available at the main medical centre.
Arena patrols (during Arena opening hours)
Teams of first responders in Hi-Vis jackets patrol the arena, providing first aid, advice and basic life support.
PROBLEMS WITH DRUGS
At other events this year, FMS have encountered very serious problems caused by drugs of unusually high strength and purity. The effects of these, particularly when mixed with alcohol and other substances, are unpredictable and have resulted in sudden, life-threatening reactions.
If someone you are with seems to be having a bad reaction, GET HELP QUICKLY. They may need immediate treatment and a brief delay can cost a life.
The team at the main medical centre is experienced in dealing with the effects of drugs and alcohol and works closely with the welfare service next door. All help is provided in a confidential and non-judgemental way, so don’t worry about coming.
If you are worried about pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, the medical centre team can give you help and advice and emergency contraception if needed.
If you think you may have been the victim of sexual assault, come and see us, even if you don’t want to report it. You will be treated sensitively and given all the help and advice you need.
All medical services at the festival are operated by Festival Medical Services. For further information on keeping safe and well at the festival, visit us at www.festival-medical.org and click on Festival Health.