Volunteer Policy

Birnam Book Festival was set up in 2018 with the objective to promote and encourage the study and knowledge of literature in the Birnam, Dunkeld and surrounding areas, inclusive of work written in Scots and other indigenous languages. We welcome and encourage Volunteers, without whom our Festival would not be possible.

Birnam Book Festival is run by volunteers, for the benefit of the community. The Committee members all provide their time throughout the year on a voluntary basis. One of our aims is to encourage community cohesion through volunteering and to support volunteers in their personal development.

In preparing for the Festival and delivering the Festival events themselves, there are a number of tasks where additional voluntary support is needed.

Volunteers are recruited on an ongoing basis, with peak drives each year to support Festival events and to ensure the smooth running of the organisation.

Roles – Committee and Volunteers

We require volunteers for a number of different roles. We will try to match available roles to the skills and development needs of volunteers. These include discrete roles or parts of a role or function, but are not limited to the below:

  • BBF Committee Member – attends 75% of Birnam Book Festival Committee meetings and assists in the delivery of Birnam Book Festival.
  • BBF Committee Secretary / Treasurer – attends 75% of Birnam Book Festival Committee meetings, is signatory for Birnam Book Festival accounts, maintains BBF budgets and good financial governance.
  • BBF Committee Grant Lead – attends 75% of Birnam Book Festival Committee meetings, is responsible for sourcing and managing Grants to support the ongoing delivery of Birnam Book Festival.
  • BBF Committee Chair – attends 75% of Birnam Book Festival Committee meetings and is responsible for convening meetings and coordination of agreed outcomes.
  • BBF Committee Volunteer Lead – acts as a liaison with BBF committee to ensure the coordination of all volunteer functions.
  • BBF Committee Writer in Residence Lead – Links in with Grant Lead team and ensures consistent funding stream for Writer in Residence and manages portfolio for the same, inclusive of: Scope, Budget, Planning, Evaluation and delivery of agreed outcomes. Liaises with BBF Patrons to create links and mentoring support for Writer in Residence.
  • BBF Committee Quality Assurance Support – attends 75% of Birnam Book Festival Committee meetings and is responsible for promoting a continuous improvement governance framework and developing and managing quality management systems pertaining to the BBF.
  • BBF Patron – actively engages and supports the Birnam Book Festival, promoting and engaging broadly to improve its standing and offerings.
  • BBF Committee Communications Officer – attends 75% of Birnam Book Festival Committee meetings and authorises all final published media modalities for the Birnam Book Festival.
  • BBF Social Media Volunteer – coordinates all social media releases with BBF Committee Communication Officer. Social media avenues include: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Blogs.
  • BBF Sponsorship Liaison – develops and creates relationships with local enterprises to gain support and sponsorship for the delivery of the Birnam Book Festival.
  • BBF Event Concierge Champions – Meeting and greeting attendees of Festival events, providing direction and assistance for general questions and garnering feedback for BBF’s continuous improvement system.
  • Event Set Up Team – Assisting in setting up and preparing rooms for the events (moving furniture, audio / visual equipment set up, operating a runner for Birnam Arts lighting/audio/sound technician).
  • Fundraiser Leads – Preparing for and staffing raffle and other fundraising and promotional stalls.
  • Stewards – Room ushers (door ticket collection, seating supervision, crowd control)
  • Marketing / Publicity Champions – Helping with distribution of publicity materials, such as posters and mail outs.
  • Administration Support – General office support / clerical work.
Equality, diversity and inclusion

The Birnam Book Festival is committed to being an inclusive and welcoming organisation and we aim to provide events which attract a diverse audience and which are accessible to all.

We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds and recognise that each volunteer is different, and all deserve an equal level of respect and equal access to opportunities, training and facilities.

Induction and training

We will provide all volunteers with induction, including the opportunity to attend a pre-Festival Volunteer induction session and a post-Festival feedback session.

Managing challenging situations

We will ensure at events that members of the Birnam Book Festival Committee (Management Team) are always present and easily identifiable. Events will mainly take place in the Birnam Arts Institute which has professional staff on duty during the Festival. Should any situation arise which a volunteer finds difficult or challenging, they should refer to a member of the management Committee.


No information is held on volunteers without their written permission. Information is maintained according to Data Protection requirements.

Photography and Social Media

Permission will be sought from volunteers if photographs of them or quotes by them are used in any publicity material.

Monitoring and review of the Festival

Birnam Book Festival is committed to continuous improvement and promoting feedback from all our valued stakeholders. The views of volunteers will be sought and listened to, and set forums for these include but are not limited to, the post-event feedback / monitoring sessions which are used to improve how we deliver Festival Events going forward.