Hi, I’m Heidi and I am the Event Director at Rossmere junior parkrun in Hartlepool and a volunteer Outreach Ambassador for parkrun… “what’s an Outreach Ambassador?” I hear you ask!
You are likely to be familiar with many of the volunteer roles which are filled week in week out on the roster of junior parkrun events across the UK but what you might not know is that there are also a number of volunteer Outreach Ambassadors like myself who help with things like spreading the junior parkrun word, assist in setting up new junior parkrun events and increasing participation at some of our smaller events amongst other things.
I took on the role of Outreach Ambassador last year after three years of regular volunteering at my local 5k event, Hartlepool parkrun, and a desire to tap into my unwavering passion for all things parkrun.
I now put my skills to good use, identifying groups and organisations who may benefit from junior parkrun, making contact and meeting with them to see how we can work together to engage local children and families and to promote junior parkrun in a positive way, particularly to those who are in greatest need of free physical activity opportunities.
I’ve also been lucky enough to be part of a team who have set up a junior parkrun in my home town and hope to help do the same in other areas in the North East.
I love that no two days are the same as an Outreach Ambassador, one day I might be in a meeting with stakeholders such as a community group or the local council, extolling the virtues of junior parkrun and how it benefits the local community, and the next I might be in a school hall with dozens of children telling them all about junior parkrun and how amazing it is – I’m not sure who gets more excited!
What I am always doing is spreading the word about junior parkrun – I’m told I talk an awful lot!
Now that my local junior parkrun is established, I’ve been putting together plans with parkrun’s Engagement Officer, Rowan Ardill, to establish a relationship with more of the schools in the areas I work across so this means lots more fun warm ups, ‘mini parkruns’ in assemblies and even more talking!
I’m keen to make sure as many children and parents as possible know about junior parkrun and that it’s accessible to all. I love to see kids who I’ve delivered an assembly to on the start line on a Sunday morning.
You might ask why I give so much of my time as a parkrun volunteer and the answer is really simple – it’s exciting, it’s engaging and the reward of seeing the positive changes it makes within the community make me proud to be a part of the parkrun volunteer family!
Outreach Ambassador (Volunteer)
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