An opportunity for everyone – The roster can never be full
Anyone and everyone is welcome to volunteer at parkrun, a course can never have too many marshals, and more tail walkers equals more fun!
Volunteering is super easy, and there’s no training or experience required – it’ll also make you feel great. But don’t take our word for it.
Read on to find out why there is something for everyone at parkrun.
Participating at parkrun means different things to different people. You might want to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate, and all of these forms of participation are not only welcomed but encouraged.
Sometimes you just want to be with your parkrun family.
You can turn up on the day, see the team and just join in, or you can add your name to the roster in advance.
You can volunteer alongside your friends (you’ll definitely make new ones too!) and we love to see multiple generations of the same family volunteering side by side.
This family have racked up almost 1,000 volunteering instances between them.
You’re never too old to volunteer either. Every Saturday, Elisabeth, who lives at a residential care home just over the road from the Sandy Lane Gate in London’s Bushy Park, marshals at Bushy parkrun, cheering parkrunners as they pass what is now known as Elisabeth’s corner.
There are a huge variety of volunteer roles; you can set up the course, deliver a first-timer welcome, sign for deaf parkrunners, take photos, guide visually impaired participants, scan a few barcodes, put the equipment away, process results, manage event social media channels and write event reports, plus lots more.
What we know for sure is that arrows and turnaround cones are no substitute for smiling marshals on course!
The fact that the volunteer roles are the same at every event means volunteering opportunities are accessible and familiar globally. Each role is easy to pick up and understand, so you don’t need extensive training and you don’t need to volunteer all the time to get the hang of it.
Easy to do
We want to keep volunteering a really easy and accessible thing to do.
Our relaxed approach means that it doesn’t matter if it goes wrong. Even if you drop the finish tokens and the finish positions aren’t quite right, it’s not a disaster. Someone will be on hand to help, and the most important thing is that you spent time outside being active and social in your local community.
If you’re new to parkrun, head to the parkrun website and register. You only need to do it once and when you’ve got your barcode, you can participate at any parkrun anywhere in the world.
If you want to see what to expect, we’ve got you covered with our volunteer videos. If you have any other questions the event team will let you know everything you need to know on the day.
It really will make you feel healthier and happier
As a volunteer at parkrun the impact is instantly felt: you literally see, hear and feel the difference you are making as hundreds of people walk, jog and run past you, and volunteer alongside you. Come rain or shine.
People tell us they need to volunteer in the same way that others need to walk, jog or run. They also tell us how volunteering gives them a deep sense of purpose and connection to others in their community.
We understand that not everyone wants to walk, jog or run so we encourage a volunteer culture of always saying yes to anyone wanting to help out.
Just as being able to walk or run at parkrun is always an option whenever you need or want it, volunteering will always be there if and when you feel like it, too.
How to get involved
If you’re reading this and you have even the slightest suspicion you might enjoy volunteering, or if you’d like to volunteer but aren’t sure if your parkrun needs you, then please contact your local volunteer team or drop them an email via the address on their website and give it a try.
The chances are you’ll be won over by the warmth and fellowship of your local volunteer community and life will never be quite the same again.
For more inspiration you can check out these personal stories from lots of volunteers here.