Save-a-Mate Festival and Event Volunteer Program

Australian Red Cross

Save-a-Mate volunteers aim to educate people in a non-judgemental way about safe partying and ways to reduce harms associated with alcohol and other drug use and prevent overdose, particularly at music festivals and community events.


Availability: 11/05/2018 - 17/10/2018

Time required: Not yet defined

Duration: Not yet defined

Location: Varied, depending on which festivals we are secured by;, Australia

Requires face to face contact:  Yes



• Save-a-Mate works to promote the health and wellbeing of young people by providing education and support on alcohol and other drug (AOD) use and mental health issues.
• Save-a-Mate volunteers attend music festivals to encourage safe partying, act as a friendly point of contact and look out for people who may need help.


• Increased awareness around AOD and harm minimisation strategies.
• Provision of a safe, non-judgmental and informal peer led support service for young people experiencing distress due to AOD at festivals and events.


At festivals and events patrons are making choices about how they are going to party – for example they are making decisions about what types of drugs or alcohol they may consume. SAM is providing key AOD health promotion messages in an environment where it is very relevant to our audience.

Festivals provide a great opportunity to engage in brief interventions with a large and diverse audience, raising awareness and sharing knowledge in a space where we have the potential to get patrons thinking about how they may change their own behaviour in order to be safer. This could be as simple as remembering to stay hydrated or it could be that through chatting with someone at SAM they learn more about their chosen methods of use and the time that substances will take effect and this helps them avoid an OD through double dropping.

SAM provides a safe space where patrons have shown they feel comfortable coming for help and information. The non judgemental and informal environment means that the SAM crew are much more approachable for patrons experiencing distress due to AOD than other services such as first aid, security or police. This means assistance is reaching many people who may otherwise not seek help until their problems end up escalating to an emergency status.



By volunteering with Save-a-Mate, you’ll gain the following benefits and opportunities:
•Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) education
•Work on an exciting Harm Minimisation program
•Entry into various music festivals (you are welcome to attend the events either side of your shift)
•The chance to meet other likeminded people
•Help to create a safer partying experience for your peers
•The opportunity to develop leadership and management skills
•Being part of a program that aims to empower young people
•Volunteering for the largest humanitarian organisation in the world

As a Save-a-Mate Festival Volunteer you will deliver harm minimisation messages and assist and educate festival goers around safe partying. You will engage with patrons in a challenging, fun and interactive environment and build strong skills and awareness around AOD and mental illness.



Promotion of opportunity


Save-a-Mate festivals and events is an ongoing Red Cross program, funded by Health NSW - all of our volunteers receive access to training and other support.