Kirkheaton Church members Karen and Ian Atkinson joined the Festival Angels at this year’s Leeds Festival.
Serving the 80,000 festival goers were a group of Christians – Festival Angels – and that’s where the journey really began.
They met with lots of other volunteers, there were just over 100 volunteers in total, who managed both a Prayer Tent - with coffee and tea on tap 24 hours a day, and the Lost and Found.
Since 2011 Festival Angels have offered a safe place, a Christian presence and safe people around the site.
Ian and Karen were on site from Wednesday to Saturday August 20-23.
“It was a truly amazing and inspiring experience,” said Karen, “Ian and I feel totally blessed to have been a part of it.”
They are also members of the Huddersfield Street Angels, who help people in the town who get into any kind of trouble on a Saturday night.
With their Street Angels experience they became one of the detached teams.
“Our remit was to wander around the site and offer help in whatever way we could,” she added, “as well as collecting lost property from the campsite managers.
“We worked in pairs or occasionally threes and carried a bag of essentials including water, sun-cream, baby wipes, foil blankets, plasters, rubber gloves and lollies.”
1,170 lost property items were handed in to the Festival Angels team and 565 have been returned to date.
They are still working on the rest.
This included dozens of passports and Driving Licences, £100 in cash and at least one tent.
Other things Karen and Ian got involved with included:
Pitching tents in the dark and the rain
Offering First Aid help and advice
Walking a very lost and anxious young lady to meet her friends at the opposite side of the Festival site
Informing other Festival staff about security situations that they had observed and also potentially vulnerable people who may need help at a later time
Guiding a vulnerable young man to the Welfare Tent where he could be cared for until he could recall where he was
Unravelling a girl who had been wrapped in packing tape by her friends.
“We spent just over 20 hours over four days, walked over 30 miles, clocked over 300 miles in round trips in the car, she adds, “and had a fantastic time.”
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