Welcome to this month’s volunteer update. Here is some of the key information for the coming period:
1. Important changes to event email accounts
You may already be aware that one of the current technical projects at parkrun is improving our email platform. We are now in a position to migrate event team email accounts from the current webmail system to Gmail.
This change will make event email accounts more accessible via mobile devices, more reliable, more secure, and, importantly, more user-friendly. Additionally, teams will also have access to other tools such as calendar, photo storage and document sharing that are offered by G Suite.
If you are part of an event’s core team, please keep an eye out for important information, including login details, that will be sent to the event mailbox on Friday, 1 February. Access to your event’s current webmail account will be terminated on Monday, 11 February.
Please note: We will never ask you for your password or login details.
IT Support Analyst, parkrun Global
In 2018, over 5,000 incidents were recorded across parkrun events in the UK and Ireland.
Every week we review every single incident that has been logged with us over the previous weekend. We categorise each one as either a dispute, medical, operational or safeguarding issue, or sometimes as a combination of several of those, and they are also graded for severity.
You may hear from one of us at Head Office if we consider your incident warrants further investigation, and you are equally welcome to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further information to add to one of your incident reports too.
After review and/or once we are satisfied with any follow-up activity, we archive each report on the system where they are still available for reference if required.
What is an incident? An incident is something that involves one or more of the following:
You can find out more here.
All incidents should be recorded by completing an incident report form via WebFMS during results processing. Please only record one incident at a time and use the ‘Add Additional Forms’ button to report any further incidents.
If you discover that an incident occurred after you processed your results, please report it using the ‘record incidents’ option available via the menu on WebFMS.
Please also ensure that you provide plenty of information, in particular the names of the people involved and their parkrun ID (whenever possible), and consider the wording carefully. The report may need to be referred back to at a later stage, such as in the case of a serious incident.
Repeat incidents may need to be linked to your Risk Assessment and/or you may need to consider altering your course to negate a perceived risk.
Please also inform your ambassador and the landowner if a serious incident occurs at your event.
Please continue to log all your incidents with us in 2019. The information is invaluable.
Head of Event Delivery, UK and Ireland
3. Event Day Support
Every weekend two phone lines are covered on a rota basis by a dedicated ambassador to provide support for you and your event. Please use them.
If either number is engaged please leave a message and they will call you back as soon as possible.
Serious Incident Lines
UK – 020 3322 7275
Ireland – 01 691 7185
All serious incidents (which includes every instance of any of the emergency services being called) should be reported to us via this number once you have dealt with the matter in hand. You should also inform your ambassador and the landowner, as mentioned above.
Please note that these are also the numbers to call, in an emergency, if you require a parkrunner’s emergency contact details (should we have them). For more information on our process for storing emergency contact details see here.
Results Processing Support Line – 020 3322 4881
If you are having problems processing your results after your event please get in touch using this number. We are on-hand to reduce your stress levels and can help solve most issues on the day.
Head of Event Delivery, UK and Ireland
4. parkrun Ambassadors
Our Ambassador Programme was created in 2013 to provide a national network of skilled and experienced volunteers who get involved outside of our weekly events and provide vital support to the UK & Ireland operations team.
If you are interested in joining the Ambassador programme, you can find out more here.
We are currently looking to recruit Ambassadors in the following locations…
5. The parkrun Code
The parkrun code was created to help teams set the tone and manage expectations at their events. Please feel free to print these out and display them at your venue, as well as sharing them on your social media pages.
6. Walking at parkrun
We have always welcomed walkers at our events, as a valuable activity in its own right. For example, when Tom Williams started Woodhouse Moor parkrun in October 2007, his friend Tess walked around the course in 58 minutes, supported by another friend who walked with her as a volunteer.
However, our own insight shows us that by far the most common reason for someone registering and not participating is that they don’t feel capable of running 5k. We want parkrun to be a safe, accessible and welcoming environment where everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Therefore, anyone who walks some or all of our events should feel as valued, supported and welcomed as a person who completes the event in record time.
This was a key reason for changing Tail Runner to Tail Walker in 2017. Yes, you are welcome as a 15-minute runner but, so too, are you welcome as a 1 hour and 15-minute walker, jogger or runner.
Whilst there is no obligation to do so, it’s great to see events implementing walk-specific activities, such as parkwalk initiatives or C25K programmes. Any bespoke initiative should be embedded within the parameters of a normal parkrun event, and if you have any questions about this please do get in touch.
In 2018, those taking over 50 minutes accounted for 1.5% of finishes, up from 0.6% three years ago. Slower average finish times are indicative of our success engaging those who are taking their first steps towards better health.
We hope that you will see and celebrate the benefit of having people of all abilities at your event, and the value that parkrun can bring to those people.
If you have any comments or ideas about how to encourage walkers at your events then please do share them with us.
Head of Health and Wellbeing, parkrun Global
7. Social Media
Boosting Social Media Posts
We’d just like to remind event teams that under no circumstances should money be spent boosting or promoting posts on social media.
Russ Jefferys, Head of Communications, parkrun Global
Social Media Profile Pictures
All event team social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should display the following profile pictures:
Please could we ask all event teams to ensure these are not changed.
Communications Executive, parkrun Global
8. Embedding Photographs in Event Website News Items
Including images in news items on parkrun event websites has always been ‘challenging’. We’ve now made it easier by allowing images to be uploaded directly to WordPress.
The process is much more intuitive and allows for rotating, cropping and resizing of images. A step by step guide can be found on the parkrun Wiki.
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