The preparation for Janmashtami Festival begins the day after the previous year's festival has just ended. Around 1500 volunteers contribute their time, expertise, creativity, ideas and skills in order to plan to the last detail how to make the festival a memorable experience for the expected 70,000 pilgrims. All members of the community and congregation have a unique contribution they can make to the festival, whether young or old, man or woman, those with professional or manual skills, and from all cultural backgrounds. A month before Janmashtami, the festival fever really kicks in, with 600-800 excited volunteers coming onsite at the Manor every evening after a hard day's work to help prepare for every aspect of the festival. On the actual festival day, many volunteers relish their service so much, that they feel inspired to spend 24 hours (with breaks!) to ensure the festival runs smoothly. For example, last year, the kitchen staff worked 24 hours to provide wonderful free vegetarian meals of prasadam (sanctified food) to the 70,000 visitors. When deciding what volunteers can do, great consideration is given to engaging people according to their skills, abilities and nature as well as the flexibility of being able to do what is needed on the festival day. Every single volunteer is given compulsory training, such as health and safety, as well as service-specific training such as food and hygiene training. The festival is such a big project that there are countless different opportunities to serve, such as kitchens, potwashing, serving prasadam, parking cars, ushering guests, greeting VIPs, giving tours, publications, setting up tents, repair work, electrical work, IT, stage setup, multimedia technician – the list is endless. If you would like to volunteer for Janmashtami and have never volunteered before please register on http://volunteer.bhaktivedantamanor.co.uk/. For more info, please contact the team at volunteer@krishnatemple.com.