Taking place close-by to the city of Southampton, this project focuses on helping to run The Young Carers Festival (YCF). 


YMCA Fairthorne Group is a fast-growing charity. Their mission is to champion and add value to young lives by providing experiences that challenge, enable and develop the individual. Fairthorne Manor, part of the Fairthorne Group, delivers outdoor education and environmental programmes to over 20,000 children and young people each year on both a residential and day basis.

The Young Carers Festival (YCF) is an exclusive event for young people who have a caring responsibility at home. Run in partnership with The Children’s Society, YCF was created in 2000 to give young carers the chance to have fun away from their caring role, raise awareness of this often hidden group of young people and allow young carers to share experiences with others in a similar situation. 2019 was the 20th annual festival with over 1,500 young people from across the UK attending.

This projetc involves helping with the preparation of the festival, including changing an area of the grounds into a huge campsite with accommodation for the young people in around 600 tents, which you will help to put up and tag (many are pop-up tents). You’ll also be organising workshop areas, marking out activity areas, preparing the grounds (cutting back trees, litter picking etc.), as well as helping the organisers with paperwork, i.e. stapling the information packs and putting all paperwork in and labelling bags. There will also be lifting and carrying as the food for the weekend will arrive and need to be stored, and there may be some help needed cleaning and preparing accommodation to the young people. Volunteers will also be involved in some food preparation to make sure that young people have packed lunches.

During the festival weekend itself, you will be needed to help keep the dining room flowing and clean, assist with children’s’ harnesses and helmets on activities, take drinks and food round to the staff, as well as directing car parking and general marshalling of the event.

YMCA hold a fireworks display, have a disco, fairground rides as well as our own activities, and the young people get a chance to just be themselves, without having to explain what they do, they can just be children again for the weekend.


Volunteers will either be camping in yurts and sleeping on camp beds, or staying in one of our staff/volunteer dorm rooms. There is some bedding provided but please bring a sleeping bag for extra warmth. Three meals a day will be provided in the canteen and there are toilet and shower facilities and a washing machine.



Fairthorne Manor is located in a village called Curdridge which is near the city of Southampton on the South Coast of England. It is about 15 minutes’ walk from Fairthorne Manor into the village where there are shops and pubs. The nearest train station is Botley which is about half an hour’s journey into Southampton.


  • You must be 18+ to take part in this project
  • The project language is English and so volunteers need to be able to speak English at a good level
  • Applicants must send a certificate of good conduct/police check from their home country
  • There is an extra fee of £50


If you need a VISA to enter the UK, an additional £21 needs to be paid to cover cost of the VISA Sponsorship Certificate.

Interested in leading this project? Go here.

If you are interested in taking part in this project, please contact us.