Glastonbury Festival medics receive presitigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Glastonbury Festival‘s medial team have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honour available to a voluntary organisation.

The Festival Medical Services were founded at Glastonbury Festival’s 1979 edition and have gone on to expand to serve other large-scale festivals such as Reading.

Among other things, they provide doctors, nurses, paramedics, four-wheel drive ambulances, x-ray and ultrasound services and mental health services. Nurses and nurse practitioners

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, presented by Queen Elizabeth II, is described as “the MBE for volunteer groups” and is managed by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Writing on their website, they said: “Congratulations to all our wonderful volunteers on receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. We are very proud to have received this honour, which is entirely down to the hard work and dedication of all our volunteers.”

Speaking to the Somerset County Gazette, the charity’s managing director and founder Dr Chris Howes said: “The organisation we have grown into is scarcely recognisable as that which received its first patient in a kitchen at Worthy Farm in 1979.

“We are all thrilled that Festival Medical Services has been honoured in this way. When we started at Glastonbury we had just a doctor, nurse and receptionist and some very basic equipment.

He continued, thanking the charity’s volunteers: “I am delighted on behalf of these dedicated colleagues that their work has been recognised – although it’s sadly ironic that this award should come when few, if any, events will be taking place this summer because of coronavirus.”

Meanwhile, the BBC has announced its plans for a “pop-up” Glastonbury broadcast, with the event’s 50th anniversary cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.