Noticeboard - 5th December 2018

December Volunteer Update


Welcome to this month’s volunteer update! Here is some of the key information for the coming period as we approach Christmas, and the start of 2019.


1 | parkrun practices


The wiki now includes a page on the parkrun practices initiative, which I hope you find useful. It includes a link to the RCGP website, which contains further details about the initiative, the Toolkit, the registration form and the map which shows the location of the parkrun practices across the UK.


To reiterate, this must be a collaborative relationship and there is no obligation for any event team to take part. Although the instructions explicitly state that practices must reach out to the local event team/s prior to registration we are aware that, in a small minority of cases, this has not occurred. Together, with RCGP, we will do what we can to address this and make sure that all parkrun practices are born out of mutual agreement.


Please can I take this opportunity to thank you, on behalf of us all at HQ, for your support in creating a network of over 500 parkrun practices across the UK. This is a fantastic achievement and one which we should all be very proud.


Chrissie Wellington,

Global Head of Health and Wellbeing, Global



2 | 5k Your Way


You may be aware of an initiative that was recently launched by oncology doctor, and professional triathlete, Lucy Gossage in partnership with Gemma Hillier-Moses. Gemma was an elite runner who developed Burkitt’s Lymphoma six years ago. Having survived treatment, she wanted to get back running, but there was no support to help her do this. So she set up MOVE Charity to support people with cancer through the power of exercise. With Lucy, she has founded 5k Your Way.


Their concept is simple: oncology professionals, those living with, or who have had, cancer and their families are encouraged to attend a local parkrun event on the last Saturday of every month. This has been trialled at Forest Rec parkrun in Nottingham with great success, and Gemma and Lucy would like to roll it out across the UK.


We wanted to make you aware that, in future, event teams may be approached by a 5k Your Way representative to ask for permission to use their event as a venue for the 5k Your Way initiative. The team at 5k Your Way do all the promotion and a 5k Your Way representative would be at the event to meet and greet participants.


The trial at Forest Rec parkrun has not placed any additional burden on the event team aside from increased participants on the designated Saturday. Ultimately it is up to the event team to decide if they want to engage and HQ will fully respect their decision.


If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch,


Chrissie Wellington,

Global Head of Health and Wellbeing, Global





3 | Head Office Reports


Every week we produce a variety of operations reports to ensure that things are ticking along nicely and as we’d hope at our events. See details below of those that directly affect teams:


The junior RD report – to confirm that the person named on the volunteer roster has the appropriate DBS, PVG, Access NI clearance or Garda vetting to act as Run Director at junior parkrun or is carrying out the role accompanied by a cleared volunteer whilst in the process of being cleared to act in that role.


Events without a Tail Walker report – to confirm that all UK & Ireland events comply with the compulsory Tail Walker policy and that anyone carrying out the role is a registered parkrunner. Please note that we also actively encourage events to have more than one person carrying out this role at any one time.


RDs carrying out other tasks report – to check that the Run Director has not walked, run or carried out any of the following tasks: pacer, tail walker, timekeeper, barcode scanning, finish tokens or marshal whilst undertaking this role. The RD has overall responsibility for event safety, and should wholly concentrate on overseeing proceedings throughout the event. For your information – no other tasks on the dropdown menu are caught by this report.


Pacers at junior events report – we expect this to be blank as pacers are not allowed at junior events.


Warm Up at 5k events report – we expect this to be blank as warm ups are not appropriate at 5k events.


First Timer Brief report – the percentage of events logging a volunteer credit for this task. We would like to encourage teams to include this as a stand-alone role on the volunteer template please. It brings new volunteers forward (who may step up to Run Direct in the future) and it shows anyone looking at your roster that you welcome new participants.


VI Guides & Sign Language Support reports – to give us some idea of the level of participation of people with visual impairments (VI) and signers in action every weekend. Please endeavour to credit anyone guiding a runner, walker or VI volunteer and/or signing at your event whenever possible and note that you are always welcome to add anyone missed off the roster in retrospect.


parkrun ICE reports – to ascertain the percentage of parkrunners at UK & Ireland events who had completed the ‘in case of emergency’ (ICE) contact details section of their parkrun profile the previous weekend.


Teams contact us quite regularly for emergency contact details for both participants and volunteers, and we want to do our absolute best (when appropriate) to provide them if asked. We continue to nudge active parkrunners without ICE details recorded by email and via national social media posts, and our latest figures show that 93% of parkrunners (who present a barcode) across the UK and Ireland have already added their ICE details.


Please do promote this locally too. You could…

  • Ask for a show of hands at the pre-run brief of people who have completed their emergency contact details and encourage those haven’t to do so.
  • Explain at the pre-run brief and/or via social media that the one of the easiest ways to check/update their ICE details is by clicking on ‘manage my profile’ via their results/thanks for volunteering email.
  • Add a paragraph or a P.S. inviting people to complete this section of their parkrun profile to your WebFMS volunteer appeal/reminder emails.


Helen Hood

Head of Event Delivery, UK and Ireland



4 | Cold weather and Cancellations


At this time of year we tend to see an increase of incidents recorded in relation to cold weather, particularly regarding older participants and volunteers. Please do keep an eye on everyone and encourage people to wrap up as temperatures drop.


We also have the annual debate about gritting and/or salting courses and our policy is that as an event team it is not your responsibility to do so, however, if you do wish to grit an icy patch and the landowners are happy, then we will support that action. Whilst a few minor patches of ice can be marshalled, treated or marked appropriately if you are in any doubt as to the safety of the course you should always cancel. The Run Director on the day should feel comfortable cancelling right up to the start time, and even mid-event should conditions change.


If you do need to cancel please inform us as soon as possible via WebFMS and note the following:

  • Informing us via WebFMS triggers several changes to your event website; populating the volunteer roster column with the words ‘no event’ and the appearance of a red notice of cancellation banner the week before the cancellation on your home page and news page.
  • If you use social media please inform your audience of cancellation via those channels as people are as likely to check on Facebook and/or Twitter as the event website for updates.
  • Please do not confirm any volunteers if your event has not taken place.

You can read more about the Cancellation Policy here.


Helen Hood

Head of Event Delivery, UK and Ireland






5 | Christmas Day and New Year’s Day


In the UK and Ireland, there are only two days of the year where we allow extra parkrun events to take place, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. On these days we also allow slight variations in start times so that (a) volunteers have a little more flexibility around other commitments, and (b) on New Year’s Day there can be opportunities for parkrunners to complete two events.


This year both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day fall on a Tuesday which provides events with opportunities to stage additional events. There is no expectation from Head Office for any event to take place on either of these days, it is entirely up to the local volunteer team to decide.


Importantly, where a 5k event and junior event share the same venue we will only allow one or the other to take place on that day. Which one goes ahead (in cases where both wish to) should be decided between the respective volunteer teams.


Key Points:


Land-owners must be informed by the local team and have given permission for the event to take place. Volunteering requirements are the same for these two ‘special’ days as they are for any other parkrun day.


On Christmas Day the following start time options are available:

  • In England and Wales: 09:00, 09:30, or 10:00.
  • In Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland: 09:30, 10:00, or 10:30.
  • Participation will only be recorded for one event.

On New Year’s Day the following start time options are available:

  • In England and Wales: 08:30, 09:00, 09:30, 10:00, or 10:30.
  • In Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland: 09:00, 09:30, 10:00, 10:30, or 11:00
  • Where start times and travel times allow, participants may log two parkruns. Often called “The New Year’s Day Double”, this is the only day of the year where participants may record more than one walk, jog, or run.
  • Although in no way compulsory, it is common for 5k events local to each other to agree start times that allow doubles. If this is the case, please encourage participants not to take risks when travelling between venues.

As the festive period approaches we receive increasing questions as to whether or not specific events are taking place on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day. As such, we publish these details on the parkrun website in our Christmas Compendium. If they’ve not already done so, please can event teams follow the ‘special events’ instructions as soon as possible in order to declare their preferences.



  • Any events remaining undecided on 13 December will be published as not taking place.
  • You do not need to log a cancellation if you are not doing an extra event.


Helen Hood

Head of Event Delivery, UK and Ireland



6 | Response Times


Between the 22nd of December and the 2nd of January we will only be responding to critical or urgent support matters as the office will be closed during this period. Our support team has a global remit, and with events taking place throughout the festive period we will be monitoring requests and prioritising accordingly.


We urge anyone having any issues processing results to contact us as soon as possible by calling the technical support line on 020 3322 4881. This is particularly important if you are hosting an additional event on either Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.


Our Serious Incident Lines (020 3322 7275 for the UK and 01 691 7185 for Ireland) will be also available on all parkrun days.


Jane Niven

Head of Support, Global






7 | New and Departing Ambassadors


In Ireland we give a warm welcome to new Event Support Ambassador: Caroline Lynch.


In the UK  we welcome new Event Support Ambassadors: Michelle Balchin, Caroline Hobbs, Belinda Robinson, Katie Smith, Ian Edwards, Andy Norman, Sue Millward and new Outreach Ambassador (juniors) Bev Green.


We bid a fond farewell to Ambassadors leaving the programme: Simon Williams and Rob Walker.


We are currently looking to recruit Ambassadors in Cornwall, Greater Manchester, Norfolk, West Sussex, and Croydon.


If you are interested in becoming part of the Ambassador programme in the UK or Ireland, you can find out more here.


Jaz Bangerh

Head of HR and Volunteer Management, UK



8 | Selfie Frames


We’re pleased to announce that selfie frames are now available to all UK event teams.


Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 14.11.10


As an added bonus (especially for parkrun tourists!), each selfie frame will be personalised with the name of your event.


These selfie frames are available to all events for a nominal charge of £15 from your event donation fund, which includes the cost of delivery. We do envisage that from time to time we will need to replace the frame as sponsors change. Of course, when this happens we will replace them at no cost.


To place an order for a selfie frame for your event, the Event Director should complete the parkrun UK selfie frame request form here. We will check your donation pot has enough funds, and send an email to your event inbox to confirm the request. A reply will then be required to place the order. Orders will be placed monthly.


James Kemp,

Global Operations Manager, Global



9 | Virtual Volunteer Mobile App


Screen Shot 2018-12-05 at 14.11.37


We are continuing to improve the Virtual Volunteer Mobile App, and there is a new release on both iOS and Android platforms with the following items:

  • Barcode scanning is more strict, only A or P followed by numbers are accepted
  • Barcode scanning checks previous participant avoiding duplicates when both barcodes are presented (more of a problem with the Android version)
  • Timer export includes the version of the app that was used

Where possible, please check that you are using the latest version. We also have further enhancements planned which will be released over the coming months.


James Kemp,

Global Operations Manager, Global



10 | Flickr


Flickr are changing their account profiles in the new year, which means that Flickr account holders must have a paid Pro account in order to store more than 1,000 photographs. Clearly this will impact event photographs that appear on our event website photo pages and any images linked to Run Reports and News Items.


Our IT team are currently exploring options and looking at some form of migration for the images in the news pages and future image storage choices.


Please do not do anything yet, we will provide updates as soon as possible regarding how we handle images in the future.


James Kemp,

Operations Manager, Global



11 | Public Liability Insurance for Events


As we look to provide the best support possible to parkrun teams all around the world, we are in the process of moving our public liability insurance into our own dedicated policy.


In the UK, we have also removed our events from the UKA race licencing programme.


We now have a global master policy, which at the moment includes the UK and Germany which is available to download via this link.


For the remainder of 2018 our Irish events will continue to be covered under their existing policy, however, from the 1st of January they will also be moving to our global policy.


Tom Williams

Chief Operating Officer, Global



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