Welfare operation mode proposal
A decision has been made (?)
This is about a new way Welfare can be operating - in short to make it more efficient and reach as many people as possible I want to make it mobile!
To these who don't know me, I am this year's Lead of Welfare. I was involved with First Aid during the last Kiez Burn. In the regular, non-glitter life I am also a psychiatrist in training so this year I wanted to contribute a bit more in my area of expertise and this is my idea on how it can be done.
People/roles most affected by this proposal
First Aid Lead and Volunteers
My experience from helping to organise First Aid in last Kiez Burn as well as doing shifts there is that it's quite difficult to find volunteers, especially if a volunteering shift means you have to sit it one spot the whole time (so you have no possibility to participate in anything else, even if there is nobody requiring help at the moment). I have done two shifts 6 hours each and frankly, I sometimes had kind of a feeling I was missing out on some stuff - which of course doesn't apply if you have someone requiring your help - but there were long hours in which nobody came.
Since the event might get smaller, we might have a smaller pool of participants and logically, probably less volunteers. The number of shifts, or rather the time that needs to be covered, stays however the same (at least 5 days, 24 hours each - and I think 6 hours of shifts are the absolute maximum). With Welfare, I think the point is that it's always available - so to do only as many shifts as the number of available volunteers allows makes little sense.
Another point is, I am not 100% convinced the idea of only stationary welfare is the best. I don't know a lot of people that had at some point an idea to actively look for it, even if they might need it. I myself have an experience of going to Welfare while on a bad trip - it's an insane effort to gather yourself enough to actually find the tent, especially if you don't know your way around KB. And that was during daytime, during the night I probably wouldn't trust myself to move from where I have been.
The proposal + implementation
On-call mobile Welfare shifts! The idea is - we still set up a small welfare tent with mattresses, tea and secure a small space for the people to feel safe in. The tent should be next to First Aid station.
The novelty is, the volunteers are not required to stay in that tent the whole time. If there is nobody requiring help, the volunteers are allowed or even encouraged to cruise through the whole KB area. Obviously they shouldn't be partying or doing workshops, they should be however be around, talk to the people and keep an eye on anyone that could require help maybe but won't themselves ask for it (as it often is while on a bad trip). They would be wearing some easy identification (I am thinking t-shirt saying Mobile Welfare and dunno, angel wings?). I think this way we could reach the biggest number of people - all of those who don't even realise Welfare is an option or are feeling too bad to go through the trouble of looking for the tent.At the same time, I think shifts like this are more attractive for the volunteers - you stay responsible but have no obligation to stay in one spot the whole time and don't feel taken out from the ongoing events.
One other plus would be a smaller number of required volunteers - obviously two per shift would be best, however with downscaled Kiez Burn I am quite pessimistic about the number of volunteers (considering we also have to find people for Rangers, Site Leads and so on). In the stationary version, it would be unrealistic to make single person shifts if needed (implying this single person has to stay in a single place for the whole shift - in First Aid we did two person shifts also for the purpose of keeping each other companion). I would still love to have two people on a shift (if nothing else, to not leave anyone without support), however being realistic I want to aim small (so to have one person for every shift) and if possible, upscale. In the mobile version, this person can still interact with other people so it's not 6 hours of sitting alone in case nobody needs their help during this particular shift.
What about people that ARE actively looking for Welfare? Well, they are still very welcome to come to the tent! In that case, I would need a tiny bit of support from the First Aid people. I would make it clear that people coming to the Welfare tent looking for support should speak to First Aid, since they will be there anyways. The task of First Aid would be to call the mobile Welfare person through a radio and tell them there is someone in the tent. In that case, the Mobile Welfare comes back to the tent and takes care of this person.
Another advantage of this is that we can, if required, leave the tent together with the tripping person, for whichever reason. It might be to encourage them to take a shower or change clothes (both a really good method to change mood during a bad trip) or to maybe accompany them back to their camp if they feel good enough to leave the safe space in the tent, or even to help them to find their friends. This would allow us to actively do more than just offer a safe space and tea and also have a better feeling about the fate of the people leaving the tent. In the stationary version, we kinda had to trust that the person saying they are good enough to leave the camp are going to be fine and find their way back. Now we can safely deliver them back to their camp and support system.
As a last remark I would like to add that in the case a lot of people would actively come to the tent, the volunteers will stay in the tent anyways (so effectively Welfare would look the same as it always did, stationary). I would however like to use this resource more actively and I think it's a shame if someone would have to just sit around and wait if they could be doing something more productive (and more fun for the volunteers themselves) during that time.
For this to work, I would like to make sure that the concept of Welfare, both mobile and stationary, will be shortly explained at the gate so everyone knows it is an option.
Who would implement this proposal
Me and the Welfare team, if First Aid Team as well as you reading this think it's a good idea :)
What would be the cost (time, money, effort, etc.) of this proposal
No additional money (or maybe a bit to buy angel wings or however we want to make ourselves accessible while being mobile). For the gear we would need a radio (that we have already, just keep one for us). And considering human resources, we would need a bit of support from Welfare - am looking forward to seeing what the affected people think of that :)
What are the advantages of this proposal (relative to the current situation and/or counter-proposals)
- more accessible Welfare that can also actively look for anyone needing help
- shifts more attractive for the volunteers
- 1 person per shift possible if we have little volunteers
- possible to accompany the person back to their camp if needed and deliver them to safe hands of their friends
What are the disadvantages of this proposal (relative to the current situation and/or counter-proposals)
- would require a bit of support from First Aid
- no stationary person in the Welfare tent 24/7 (but they would be within reach and could quickly come if needed)
- you tell me, what criticism do you have? will expand the list with your points
Please let me know what you think, I know the concept is kinda revolutionary so I would understand if someone would feel very strongly against it. But let's talk about it :) Thanks for reading!