About the local hosting organizationBACKGROUND: Buddhafield (www.buddhafield.com) is an English Buddhist collective that is part of the international Buddhist movement, the Triratna Buddhist Community (http://thebuddhistcentre.com). Buddhafield emerged out of the coming together of Buddhism and ecological awareness in the 1990s. Buddhafield is inspired by the ideal of living and working more simply and kindly in a community informed by awareness of our interconnections with each other and with nature. Buddhafield runs a programme of camping activities in England and owns two beautiful pieces of land, which they are committed to managing sustainably and which they use for several events each year. THE EVENT: Buddhafield's Green Earth Awakening Camp is held over a period of five days, on a beautiful site in the Blackdown Hills, in Somerset, England. The event brings together Buddhists, activists and environmentalists for celebration, joy, and exploring how we might live more in harmony with each other and the environment. There will be workshops, talks, music, crafts, traditional skills and dance. There will also be meditation, environmental discussion, healing area and social change themes together with general festival attractions such as singing, dance, yoga, drumming, live music, saunas, hot tubs and forest school activities for children. The event is for 500 people. The feedback we get is that for many the event is a reminder that a more positive and compassionate alternative to conventional competitive and environmentally damaging ways of living is possible. In keeping with the Camp's Buddhist ethos the event is a drug and alcohol-free zone.
About the volunteer workVolunteers will be assisting in setting up the event working in teams with experienced people. Helping put up tents and other structures, decorate and make the site beautiful. Alternatively people might work in the café team helping with the catering or other manual jobs around the site or a variety of task. The event itself will take place from 20th to 24th September. During the camp, volunteers can help in the café and cooking teams or site crew or aid with recycling and after the event help with sorting and collecting recycling and taking the camp down. The work is very team-based. The whole enterprise runs on goodwill, awareness of each others' needs, good communication and mutual support. During set-up and take-down there will be organised events around Buddhist themes, attendance at which is completely voluntary. There are generally also alternatives such as spontaneous musical gatherings, often around a fire.
Local accommodationBuddhafield will provide food (vegan) and hot drinks are available throughout the day. Volunteers should provide their own tents and their own sleeping gear such as sleeping bag and sleeping mat.
About the project locationTRAVEL TO GREEN EARTH AWAKENING: The site is in remote countryside, with only two buses per day going near the site. The nearest town is Taunton in Somerset which has good trains to London. Once on site it takes a long time to leave and go shopping etc. We are therefore asking all VAP volunteers to arrive in time to travel up to the site together on Sept 13th. A member of the Green Earth Awakening team will meet people at the train station and help them get to the site. We recommend arriving in Taunton by about 4.30pm to make sure you meet the Green Earth Awakening crew member and to catch the bus in good time! Trains: The nearest station is Taunton. Journeys take about 2 hours from London or Birmingham, 1 hour from Bristol and 30 minutes from Exeter. Book via http://www.thetrainline.com/ Coaches: Taunton is about 4 hours from London and 1 hour from Bristol. National Express run regular services to Taunton. See www.nationalexpress.com. Local transport: Once in Taunton there are two buses per day which can drop you within 5 minutes walk of the event site. The bus stops are about 15 minutes walk from Taunton station and five minutes from the coach station.
RequirementsVolunteers applying should write a motivation letter explaining their reasons to apply to this specific project.
Extra info about the projectVAP HOSTING FEE: Volunteers will be asked to pay a fee of £80 GBP upon arrival. VAP charges this fee as without it we would be virtually unable to organise any projects in the UK.