Are you thinking about volunteering for the first time at parkrun but are not sure what to expect? Read our top five tips for volunteering to see why we love it so much!
1) Take 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 take 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 early
For most volunteer roles, we would recommend arriving 30 minutes before parkrun starts. This way, the run director can provide a quick briefing before other parkrunners arrive, introduce you to other volunteers and answer any questions you may have.
3) Take your phone
If you’re volunteering as a time keeper 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.
Jeannette Liebig was a keen parkrunner, going every Saturday morning until she was diagnosed with breast cancer last summer. It was only in the following weeks and months that she recognised the significance the parkrun community had on her life. Exercise has always been important to me. My husband, Alex, quit smoking years ago and…
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