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Volunteering at BiCon

Volunteering at BiCon is one of the best ways to meet new people.

So why should I volunteer at BiCon?

BiCon would not be possible without volunteers.

Volunteering won't take up all of your time and doesn't always need you to have specialist skills like counselling and first-aid. Volunteering for things at BiCon is one of the best ways of meeting new people and giving back to BiCon and the community.

Go to the workshops webpage for information about volunteering to run workshop at BiCon.

Go to the entertainments webpage for information about volunteering at BiCon entertainments.

Volunteering at BiCon falls into the following categories:

Registration desk

    Tasks include:
  • Sitting behind the desk for one or more shifts of between 1 and 2 hours.
  • Welcoming pre-booked attenders, directing them to the accommodation office and handing out info packs.
  • Taking on-site registration-only bookings and payments, handing out info packs.
  • Directing checked-in attenders to the badge-making and social areas of BiCon.
  • Answering or writing down (for the organisers) queries about BiCon.
  • Contacting the on-duty BiCon organiser in the event of complex queries or any problems.
  • Contacting counsellors, first-aiders or a gopher upon request.
  • Answering the BiCon Registration Desk phone.

Desk duty is not physically strenuous and during quieter times should not be too tiring. The desk will be staffed by experienced volunteers and BiCon team members during anticipated busy-registration periods. Instructions will be provided in writing and tasks will be clearly explained to you when you start your shifts.

The volunteer coordinator will contact you nearer BiCon to find out your likely availability for desk duty and any tasks you would rather not or cannot do.

    For example:
  • A deaf or hard of hearing volunteer can be put on shifts with someone else who can answer the mobile phone.
  • A volunteer who doesn't like handling money or numbers can be placed on shift with someone else handling the bookings.

When the volunteer-coordinator contacts you about your volunteering duties, please let them know of any limitations you may have, so they can timetable your shifts with someone else who can carry out those duties alongside you. We do not want anyone to feel that it is not possible for them to contribute to BiCon in some way.

Gopher duty

    Tasks include:
  • Helping to set up the BiCon space at the beginning of BiCon.
  • Helping to take-down BiCon stuff at the end of activities, events or the end of BiCon itself.
  • Assisting BiCon attenders with carrying luggage to their accommodation.
  • Moving furniture around the conference centre between events.

BiCon gophering is the one volunteering task which needs physically able-bodied individuals. BiCon won't be asking you to carry excessive amounts, mostly just shared-carrying of larger pieces of furniture, chairs and possibly assisting with decorating the venue for evening entertainments.

Many BiCon attenders and organisers have physical disabilities which limit their ability to do physical activities such as moving furniture or carrying their luggage. BiCon will be relying on gopher volunteers to assist people with this upon request.

Gophers are going to be most in demand during the evening of Thurs 28th, Fri 29th and afternoon of Sun 31st of BiCon.

Counselling

Volunteers for counselling will need to provide proof of counselling qualifications or experience in listening services such as Nightline.

An experienced BiCon counsellor will be coordinating counselling services to ensure that counsellors still get to have fun at BiCon and that attenders know exactly what the counsellors can provide. BiCon counselling is most like a listening service, rather than directive or advice services. It is not a replacement for professional mental health support.

The BiCon counselling coordinator will provide more information soon and contact counselling volunteers nearer to BiCon. If you have any questions about counselling please email bookings@bicon2008.org.uk.

First-aid service

First-aid volunteers will need to be able to produce a valid and current first-aid certification or evidence of employment in an appropriate medical profession.

BiCon first-aiders will mostly be needed for minor injuries and to provide limited reassurance to any attenders having health difficulties at BiCon. The first-aid service will not be a replacement for professional medical treatment for acute or longer term medical conditions.

Attenders who have volunteered first-aid services will be contacted nearer BiCon.

Other tasks

Often during BiCon there are tasks which can be quite tedious and lengthy when only one or two people do them, and very quick and easy if there are many people. During BiCon, the organisers and others will not be shy about standing up and making a general request for assistance. If you can assist, please do respond to these requests, the more the merrier!

Last changed 5th May 2008