Volunteers Guidelines

Thank you for volunteering to work at the Cheltenham Real Ale Festival. Whether it is your first time, or you are an experienced volunteer, you are very welcome and we thank you for your time and commitment. Please take the time to read through these notes.


Cheltenham Festival Structure

Festival Organiser:                                      Grant Cook

Beer Organiser:                                            Grant Cook

Cider & Perry Organisers:                          John Wood

Canned Craft Beer Organiser:                   Chris Martin

Communications:                                         Chris Martin

Staffing Officers:                                          John Pickles, Ian Scott

Festival Site Manager:                                Andy Forbes

Cooling Manager:                                        Andy Forbes

Administration:                                             Tony Lucas

Health & Safety Officer:                              Duncan Johnson

Quartermaster:                                              Keith Simmonds

Beer Bar 1 Manager:                                   John Crossley

Assistant Beer Bar 2 Manager:                 Steve Merrett

Beer Bar 2 Manager:                                   Tony Lucas

Assistant Beer Bar 2 Manager:                 Chris Trace

Cider Bar Manager:                                     Chris Chadwick

Assistant Cider Bar Manager:                    John Wood

Front of House Manager:                           Sue Pickles

Volunteer Catering Manager:

CAMRA Membership Stand:                      Veronica Emary

Treasurer:                                                      Janine Green

Tombola:                                                       Emiel Ramakers, Ben Crumpler

As a volunteer at the Cheltenham Real Ale Festival you are bound by the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. The Act provides a legal framework to promote, stimulate and encourage high health and safety standards, and places duties on all volunteer staff. This means that all staff are responsible not only for health and safety of themselves and every other member of staff but also for the general public visiting the festival.

Daily routine

At the beginning of each Festival work session you are required to sign in. The signing in sheets are necessary for insurance and fire regulation purposes. Please ensure that you wear your staff badge in a prominent place at all times whilst you are working. Please make sure that you sign out after finishing every work session.

Setting Up and Taking Down Sessions

The first 2 days, and the day after the festival, involves setting up and taking down of the scaffolding and bars etc. It is advisable that you wear suitable footwear such as steel toecap boots or shoes – a limited number of safety shoes will be available if required. SANDALS MUST NOT BE WORN. Safety equipment (safety boots, gloves, hats, goggles) will be available and must be worn if so instructed.

Please take the utmost care when handling heavy casks, scaffolding or cleaning fluids. Do not touch the cooling equipment, or any electrical equipment/connectors, unless specifically authorised to do so.

When you first arrive please report to the staffing officer who will ask you to confirm that you have read the H&S Handbook and CRAF16 Staff Guidelines. Both are available on the CRAF16 Festival website.

The officer will remind you of your H&S responsibilities and ask you to sign to say you understand what is required of you.

Volunteers who will be serving alcohol with be briefed before starting duty, by their Bar Manager, regarding their responsibilities for complying with the ‘Authorisation to Supply/Serve Alcohol’.

  • You will be given a staff badge, T-Shirt, Festival glass and details of where you will be working and your rostered breaks.
  • Food will be provided in the staff room during your work break.
  • Details of your ‘working’ beer allowance will be provided at registration.

Health and Safety Policy reminders

As a CAMRA volunteer you are obliged to observe the following points:

  • Wear protective safety equipment where instructed to do so
  • Wear suitable footwear at the Festival i.e. heavy-duty footwear preferably steel toecaps for construction and loading. Also suitable footwear for working behind bars. No Sandals or high heels please.
  • Use gloved hands when handling casks and a trolley. Please DO NOT handle casks unless under the direction of a Bar Manager.
  • Should you see any accidents or near misses, bad practice or breaches of the Health and Safety at work act – or identify any potential hazards, report them to your manager or the Health and Safety Officer.

Food Safety Act

The requirements for staff working behind the Bars or on the glasses stand are basically common sense.

  • Staff must be clean and presentable in both their person and clothes.
  • Always wash your hands before serving, after using the toilet, smoking, handling rubbish, handling cleaning cloths.
  • Cuts and abrasions on the hands should be covered with Blue plasters.
  • If anyone has recently suffered from a stomach upset, or if you have a sore throat, please tell the staffing officer.
  • Use the hand sanitising liquid regularly.


  • Touch your nose, mouth, hair, lick your fingers; consume food; sneeze into beer. Use the hand sanitizers if this should happen.
  • Put your fingers in a glass; touch the glass with the tap or hand pump nozzle when pouring beer.

Evacuation Procedure

If you discover a fire, or see any suspicious packages, please contact your Bar Manager, or nearest ‘Red Shirt’ immediately.

If the fire alarm is sounded please leave everything as it is and make your way to the nearest fire exit and take the shortest route to the assembly point. A map of fire exits and the position of fire assembly points will be available behind each bar.

No Smoking

A Smoking area will be provided. If you need to smoke please do so only in this area.

However, the Town Hall has no policy on vaping. In line with this vaping will be allowed in all areas.

General Bar Points

  • When commencing work please report to your Bar Manager.
  • If you have little or no bar experience do not hesitate to ask the Bar Manager for assistance.
  • Casks may only be tilted by Bar Managers or their assistants.
  • Take care behind the bar, particularly during busy times.
  • Call the Bar Manager if the beer is suspect or a customer complains.
  • Leave the Bar when time is called.