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Things I learned volunteering with PsyCare UK: Part 1

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

Written 27th August 2021 by Michael Ledden, Chairperson, PsyCare Ireland.

Last weekend I had the honour of volunteering with PsyCare UK for five days at Warm Up Festival.

Since I heard about the work of PsyCare UK and others like Zendo Project and Kosmicare I have wondered why these services are not already in Ireland.

PsyCare UK is a registered charity in the UK since 2008, their mission is to provide welfare and harm reduction services at UK and International festivals.

They also provide specialist support to service users undergoing difficult drug or psychedelic experiences.

Founded by Karin Silenzi de Stagni formally of Kosmicare, they have grown into a large, all voluntary organization who attend multiple UK festivals a year.

In January I applied to volunteer and was delighted to be trained and accepted; it was a long time waiting to see if I would be able to go due to Covid-19 but last weekend I finally got to get into a field.

In these next few posts, I want to share what I learned along the way, starting here with my impressions before I even got to a festival.

From early interactions with PsyCare UK including their brilliant training, I could see that in the UK the general acceptance of Psychedelics and Drug Harm Reduction is far ahead of anything I've seen in Ireland.

During the training the passion and reverence for people's welfare, consciousness, psychedelic therapy, volunteer welfare and a better society was incredibly apparent.

Before I set foot in the field and especially when I asked for help setting up a similar service in Ireland, I was blown away by the generosity of spirit that exists within the organization.

As many companies seek to monetise/monopolise Psychedelics for all they're worth, the energy I encountered in PsyCare was different, totally charitable and person-centred: something I firmly wish to replicate and spread in Ireland.

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