Penny Mellor to receive Unsung Hero award
Veteran concert safety specialist Penny Mellor is to be presented with the Unsung Hero award at the Festival Congress Awards in Cardiff next month in recognition of her more than four decades consulting on event welfare and health and safety.
Congress organiser Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) will honour Mellor (pictured) for her “over 40 years [of] managing welfare services and developing good practice guidance” at the event on 1 November.
Mellor, a longtime member of the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) team, worked from 1996 to 1999 on the UK Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) Event Safety Guide, and has also contributed to the Home Office’s ‘safer clubbing’ guidance for harm reduction at clubs and dance music events and the European Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s health and safety guidelines for workers at live music events.
“I am delighted that [our] work has been recognised by festival organisers and others, and that its importance is acknowledged”
She also works with A Greener Festival, and last year produced a Welfare Handbook section for the Purple Guide.
She tells IQ she was “shocked” to get AIF’s call but is “delighted to receive the award on behalf of all the real unsung heroes and heroines in the welfare teams who have helped and supported people at festivals over the years. They have done amazing work, often in very difficult circumstances, and have had to deal with some very upsetting and challenging experiences.”
She adds: “I am also delighted that this work has been recognised by festival organisers and others and that its importance is acknowledged. It’s been a hugely exciting journey through the festival timeline for me, and I look forward to interesting things to come.”
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