Slán #EP22

You didn’t have to take drugs at EP to feel the onset of a painful come-down this week. Getting readjusted with our real self can take time transitioning.

It is normal to feel a bit off for a few days or weeks. Only those that were there can understand it. It may affect us all differently. Mostly it is physical exhaustion that will be fixed with some good rest. We recommend taking extra care of yourselves by eating and sleeping well and slowly get back into your regular routine rhythm of exercise whether that’s gym, swim, yoga, walking or whatever. Don’t overdo it either.

For others there may be a mental element which needs to be addressed. Please check-in with each other and you can reach out to us for anything.

To sum up the weekend there could be any choice of adjectives. It felt like tapping into the heart and soul of Irish culture— for good and for bad. A true depiction of our attitudes to make the best of any given situation (what rain?)

The other side to this very practical way of living within our means, is to accept and ignore wrongdoings that may be made against us. Make no mistake, every camper at the weekend has the same equal rights within a greenfields site than regular life. No glamper or campervan or hotel resident is above the tents who toughed it out down in the trenches.

Welfare is a human right.

You may well have used our service at the weekend or passed us entering the main arena at some point. Whether you are aware of it or not we exist to provide crisis intervention, support, crash beds, spare clothes, tents, sleeping bags, advice, cups of tea and chats on anything drug-related.

Who are we?

A collective of people concerned for your welfare at the Irish festival scene. Because we’ve all been there before we are all volunteering our time to help keeping you safe and conviction-free wherever possible. We identify with different organisational goals and objectives but ultimately we come under the same banner of Welfare.

Mark Sheath volunteered with us at the weekend through a referral made by a friend who trains football for children with autism. Mark has 12-years experience leading a team of 78 volunteers with disability access at WOMAD festival in the UK.

Simon Benson has volunteered with us before at EP17 doing outreach at different campsites surveying drug trends and getting harm reduction advice out to the public. Simon is a botanist/ biologist collecting samples with scuba divers all over Ireland. This interest in data translates neatly into drug science.

Standing beside Simon is Danyel Harrington who’s first ever EP would have been a challenging one with the poor weather conditions. Her final year in UCC studying languages offered people skills when interacting with punters at the campsites.

Alan Beavan is our Chef by night and Accountant by day. A wizard with numbers he managed to feed the awkward variation of dietary requirements of this picky bunch of welfare warriors. Above and beyond, he served hearty meals four times a day and we were better fed down at Welfare than the Directors up at Production. Alan has two pubs on the main street in Kenmare, Co. Kerry (McCarthy’s and the Brew House).

Dr. Kathryn Ledden is a medical doctor with a multi-disciplinary background in psychology and social care. Having published a research paper relating to psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, Kat is among the very few clinical experts in psychedelics in Ireland and comfortably covers the niche of festival harm reduction having worked a ton of festivals this summer (the music is not over for her just yet with still two more festivals left in September).

Our mannequin demonstrating the recovery position is Michael Ledden who is a counsellor and psychotherapist with his own practice Anxiety Ireland. Michael heads up Psycare Ireland who we hope to volunteer with one day.

In his yellow and green festy outfit standing above is Benjamin Panter. Ben is a full-time firefighter based in Ennistimon/ Lahinch who is well used to providing disaster relief in the wettest part of the island. A competent professional who keeps us all in check.

It is the first time we had a film crew on-site with us who are producing a documentary on attitudes between the different service providers at Electric Picnic. Each with their own captivating stories and from left to right is Seán Downey, Oran Treacy and Célem Deegan. The photographer who captured all these photos is the talented Aleksandra Schmidt. Huge credit and respect for this creative team.

Do you have a skillset you wish to offer at next year’s festival circuit? Volunteer by completing the form.

If you or anyone you know experienced difficulty at the weekend please get in touch with us or any of the relevant service providers below.

Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) have regional offices as part of the HSE. The person working at EP was Catherine (0862113465).

Free Legal Aid Centre (FLAC) are a good first point-of-contact for any criminal matters and we highly recommend giving them a call if you were caught in possession of an uncontrolled substance.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) if you are a student or young person with the belief that drugs should be controlled and regulated then get active. If you don’t have a SSDP society on your campus you can set one up.

Contact Help Not Harm at support@helpnotharm.org or +44 7466 498 560

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Help Not Harm

Help Not Harm

Help Not Harm is a campaign supporting a shift of drugs from criminal justice to public health to improve access to harm reduction, education and treatment.