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News - 27th September 2021

Join us on a journey through volunteering


This week it’s parkrun’s 17th Anniversary and to celebrate we’re taking a look back at 17 years of volunteering.


Here’s what you can expect for #parkrun17.


17 v2


There were five volunteers at the very first parkrun, including Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt CBE. Now, more than half a million people have volunteered across over 2,200 locations in 22 countries around the world, clocking up a staggering six million instances of volunteering between them.


PSH volunteer


Join us in the walk/jog/run up to our special day as we share stories, videos, facts and figures, focused on the past 17 years of volunteering, and everything we’ve learnt along the way.


We’ll show you what’s changed, and why, and explain to you exactly how it all works.


Family token sorting


There’ll be fancy dress, smiles all round, and a few tugs at the heart strings guaranteed.


From Tail Walkers to Run Directors, Marshals, Timekeepers, Barcode Scanners, Funnel Managers and everything in between, we’re going to show you the absolute joy of volunteering at parkrun, and how we came to realise for ourselves that parkrun was about so much more than the run.


You can expect stories of friendship, family, overcoming adversity, people finding confidence they never knew they had, and many many lives changed.


New friend Austin - Nina


We’ll be delving deeper into some of the insight we’ve used to develop our approach to volunteering at parkrun, and how we learnt some very important lessons. Plus we’ll share some of the research findings from our survey of more than 60,000 parkrunners, which revealed that volunteering really does make people healthier and happier.




In fact, it was volunteers who reported the greatest improvements to their health and happiness, even more so than those who walk, jog and run at parkrun.


infographics volunteer twitter (1)


We’ll also be revisiting some of the volunteer takeovers we’ve had at parkruns. From the NHS’s 70th Anniversary celebrations, to paralympian Tail Walkers, schools, running clubs, and even a local nursing home.


NHS takeover


Why not help us bring our social channels alive and share your own stories of volunteering at parkrun.


#loveparkrun #parkrun17


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