Volunteer ambassadors play a massive role in helping support parkrun’s mission to create a healthier and happier planet.
We sat down with Jaz Bangerh, Head of HR and Volunteer Management, to find out more about the parkrun Ambassador Programme.
What is the Ambassador Programme?
The parkrun Ambassador Programme was originally created in the UK in 2013. It is a support network of highly engaged, energetic, dedicated volunteers who have applied for a number of different volunteer roles through a formal recruitment process. They come from a wide range of experiences and perspectives. In the truest sense of the word ‘ambassador’ they are the guardians, advocates, protectors and champions of parkrun.
What do ambassadors do?
Absolutely loads! Ambassadors provide an essential and valuable resource to parkrun in supporting events and the small, central parkrun staff team. They carry out a wide variety of important roles which typically sit outside of the volunteering that takes place at parkrun events over the weekend.
Here are a few examples
How many ambassadors are there?
When we started the program in 2013 there were 13 ambassadors, but now we’ve grown to 625 ambassadors undertaking 654 roles (17 unique roles) across 20 countries. The majority of the ambassadors are in Event Support roles, but as mentioned above, these volunteers help us with everything from social media, to technical support.
What’s great about being an ambassador?
As an ambassador you have the opportunity to get involved with parkrun on a deeper and broader level and see how it all comes together from the inside. You get to work alongside a bigger team with fellow ambassadors and parkrun staff, helping the organisation to deliver on its mission of making the world healthier and happier.
An ambassador role allows you to develop skills, and gain new ones. It is a fantastic boost to your CV.
Whilst there isn’t a typical parkrun ambassador (people of every age, gender, race and cultural background are Ambassadors) most are passionate, confident, dynamic and strong communicators.
Don’t take our word for it
Jaspal who is an Event Support Ambassador from London says being an ambassador has helped him overcome his shyness in front of people who he may not know.
Bruce, who is a Photography and Film Ambassador and profoundly deaf, says being an ambassador has enabled him to be more confident in approaching people or making the first move in saying hello.
Hafsa who has been an Outreach Ambassador since 2017 says her favourite thing about being an ambassador is meeting so many different people in her community and being able to share the joys of parkrun with them.
Paul and Charlie Butler, who are a father and son Film and Photography Ambassador duo, say that being parkrun ambassadors has changed their lives. “It’s been a joy and an honour, we’ve had so much fun, been inspired by the stories of the people we’ve met, and shared many rich experiences together. We have made so many friends along the way!”
Iwao who is a Translation Ambassador in Japan explains how being an ambassador has changed his view of volunteering from being an obligation to something that is actually really fun.
Sonya who is an Outreach Ambassador in London says her message for anyone who is interested in becoming an ambassador would be “If you’re passionate about parkrun and have time and skills that you can offer as an ambassador then go for it! There’s lots of support just like at parkrun events and it’s an amazing community to be a part of.”
How do I apply?
We are always on the lookout for new ambassadors. If you are interested in finding out what ambassador opportunities are available in your region, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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