You’ll make an incredible difference at Trailwalker – giving participants the extra boost they need to keep going, cross the finish line and help beat poverty for good. The money the teams raise will change lives around the world, and many walkers have said that they wouldn’t have been able to complete this enduring challenge without the volunteers’ support. Thank you for signing up to make Trailwalker the phenomenal event it is. We can’t wait to welcome you to the team.

Download guide

New 2021 guides are in development, but please view the 2020 guide to give you an idea of the fun to be had!

Frequently Asked Questions

Signing up and pre-event:

  • When does Trailwalker take place?
    From Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September 2021.
  • Do I need to be available for the whole weekend?
    Yes, you do in order to sign up. The first shift starts on Friday afternoon and the last shift finishes on Sunday afternoon.
  • How do I sign up for volunteering for Trailwalker?
    You can sign up through the Oxfam Festival App. You need to make sure that you will be available for the whole weekend.
  • Do I have to pay a deposit?
    To sign-up you will need to provide a refundable deposit of £20. This is to ensure that volunteers attend and complete their required responsibilities on site.

    If you sign up for other Festivals, you will pay one deposit for the highest value Festival and this will carry over to lower value Festivals, including Trailwalker. Full Festivals FAQs can be found here.

    Your deposit will be returned to you 4 weeks after the event. The return of your deposit relies on you having attended all your shifts satisfactorily. This includes being on time and returning any equipment when you have finished your last shift.

    Your deposit will be paid directly back to the card you used to pay your deposit. If you change banks or credit card companies – please get in touch in plenty of time before your refund is due, so that we can make alternative arrangements to return your money.

    Depending on your bank’s processes it can then take up to 10 working days from the refund being issued, to it showing in your account.
  • I can no longer make it, how do I cancel my place?
    The following advice is for any volunteers who have only signed up to Trailwalker and not any other Festivals. If you have signed up for multiple Festivals including Trailwalker, please see full FAQs here. If you have only signed up to Trailwalker, and need to cancel your place, you may do so within the 'cooling off' period of seven days at no charge.

    After this time, any cancellations may result in you forfeiting your £20 deposit. If you find yourself needing to cancel your place, please let us know via email to eventvolunteer@oxfam.org.uk.

    If you can't make it at the last minute due to illness, or some other unavoidable complication, please ensure that you call us on 0300 200 1266 (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm) to let us know as soon as possible. If the reason is for unavoidable circumstances, you may be eligible to receive your deposit back. Please contact us if you find yourself in this situation but please note that changes to your work schedule, holidays and if your friends are no longer able to make it are not deemed as being unavoidable circumstances so please ensure that any time is booked off and confirmed before applying.

  • There are no more volunteering places, what do I do?
    Places will become available on the website if and when people drop out. You need to continue to check the website.
  • How will I receive information prior to the event?
    We’ll be in touch via email from time to time with all the information that you need. You’ll receive more specific information the closer we get to the event, including a volunteers guide and shift times and locations.
  • Is there a Facebook group I can join?
    Yes! You can request to join here. It is a great way to keep up to date with Trailwalker news, meet other people who are attending and get excited for Trailwalker 2021!
  • Why is it so important to complete my profile?
    You must complete this information for safety reasons. This includes obtaining information for your emergency contact details and uploading your photo.
  • Will I receive training?
    You do not need to sign up to any training sessions prior to the event. All training will take place at the beginning of your shift by your volunteer coordinator.
  • How do I become a Checkpoint Coordinator?
    Checkpoint Coordinators are vital roles at Trailwalker and are a massive part of the Trailwalker family. They have input into the checkpoint themes, materials and resources as well as looking after all of our lovely volunteers. If you are interested in this role, please contact us on eventvolunteer@oxfam.org.uk
  • What happens if the event gets cancelled?
    You will receive your full deposit refund and you will not be charged an administration fee. If you have other future festivals with us, we will hold your deposit as usual. If you do not, we will refund your deposit within 7 days. It can take up to 10 working days to show back in your account.

Event Weekend

  • How many shifts do I have to do and how long?
    You need to complete at least 2 shifts over event weekend which are between 5 and 8 hours long.
  • Will I need to travel around from shift to shift?
    You may have shifts that are not in the same location, but we will try and put them as close together as possible. Please try and lift share as much as possible with other volunteers.
  • When do I need to arrive and when can I leave?
    We will be in touch with specific arrival instructions nearer the time, but in general you need to arrive in time for your first shift and then you can leave after your final shift.
  • Do I need to bring anything?
    We’ll be in touch nearer the time with a volunteer guide detailing what you need to bring.
  • What do I need to wear?
    Make sure you have clothes suitable for both extremes of weather. We recommend bringing a raincoat and a warm jumper as well as a sunhat and sunscreen. Bring some good footwear (boots are a good idea) as you’ll be on your feet in the countryside!
  • What do I do when I arrive?
    You need to find either the Volunteer Coordinator at the OxBox or your Checkpoint Coordinator. You then need to sign in with your time of arrival (and then sign out when you leave). You will then need to collect a tabard to wear throughout your shift. Please remove and hand in your tabard once you have finished your shift. Please do not wear your tabard when you are off shift.
  • Is there accommodation available?
    On a typical year, we would normally provide camping on the Friday evening at Queen Elizabeth Country Park and at Brighton Racecourse on the Saturday evening. Due to Covid-19, we may not be able to make such an offer this year but we will let you know what will be available nearer the time. In any case, there isn’t any camping available on the Sunday night so you will need to arrange alternative accommodation. It is a long weekend, so please do not drive if you are tired.
  • Can I bring a live-in vehicle (motorhome/caravan)?
    We will confirm this nearer the event.
  • Is there food available?
    There is food available at the start on the Friday from 6pm as well as breakfast on the Saturday morning from 5am. Along the route, there is then food at Checkpoint 7. At Brighton Racecourse, there is food available from Saturday evening until Sunday afternoon. If you are not allocated to these areas, then you will need to bring along your own food.
  • What is at each checkpoint?
    There is hot water, cold water, tea and coffee as well as toilets available and a car park.
  • Can I do my shift with my friend?
    We cannot guarantee this, but you can choose shift partners in the profile section of signing up. We will then take this into consideration when allocating your shifts.
  • Can I request a particular shift?
    When signing up for Trailwalker, you can request an early or late shift. Again, this cannot be guaranteed but we will take this into consideration. You cannot choose specific shift patterns or checkpoints.
  • When do I find out my shifts?
    You will find out your shifts a month before the event via email.
  • Can I swap shifts?
    You cannot swap shifts unless you have exceptional circumstances. If this is the case, then please email us at eventvolunteer@oxfam.org.uk
  • Can I claim expenses?
    Yes you can claim up to £20 maximum per shift for travel expenses (£20 maximum) or food and drink expenses (£6 maximum per meal) and you must provide a receipt. Your volunteer or checkpoint coordinator can provide you with the relevant forms required. Please plan ahead when planning your travel to minimise expense wherever possible.