If volunteering for the first time at parkrun is one of your New Year’s resolutions but you’re not sure what to expect, read these five tips for volunteering to see why we love it so much!
1. Bring someone with you
From our volunteering research, we know that some people who are volunteering for the first time are worried about not knowing anyone. Why not bring a friend or family member to volunteer alongside you? When signing up to volunteer, simply mention that you’ll be volunteering in a pair.
2. Arrive a bit earlier
This allows the Run Director to provide a quick briefing before other parkrunners arrive, introduce you to other volunteers, and answer any questions you may have.
3. Bring your phone
If you’re volunteering as a timekeeper or barcode scanner, you’ll need to download the parkrun virtual volunteer app on your phone and bring it with you. The app has been designed so that it is super simple to use when volunteering. Just ask the run director or fellow volunteer for a quick demonstration if you’re unsure!
4. Switch it up
After your first volunteer stint, why not switch it up and complete a different volunteer role next time? Doing different volunteer roles is great for understanding all about how parkrun works and seeing it from different perspectives.
If you like a lot of positive reinforcement and cheering people on, you might find marshalling becomes your favourite role.
If you like a volunteer role where you can complete the 5k course after, course checking or the first timers welcome might be your favourite role.
Or perhaps you’d enjoy seeing all the smiley faces coming in as you scan barcodes at the end!
5. Have fun!
On our 15th anniversary (October 2019), our first ever health and wellbeing survey found that an incredible 84% of volunteers said parkrun improved their happiness.
So we might be biased, but we’re pretty sure you’ll have the best time!
You can find your nearest event here. To volunteer, email your local event team with their email on your local parkrun’s website, or simply turn up and speak to the run director on the day about volunteering.
If you’d like to find out more about some of the volunteering roles, check out these handy two-minute videos!
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