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February 2022

Welcome to the February volunteer update. On the weekend of 22-23 January, 2094 5k and junior events took place, marking an all-time record for parkrun. With new events opening in territories around the world, it’s great to see that the number of parkrun events operating has never been higher. A huge well done and thank you.

Long-term viability of events

parkrun is all about building a community and part of that process involves developing a strong volunteer team that can help to share the responsibilities of organising an event. For the longevity and health of both the individual(s) and the event it is essential that you have a supportive team around you so that no one person is responsible for the welfare of an event.

We’d therefore encourage all Event Directors to ask themselves these simple questions:

  • Have you ever taken part in your home event?
  • Do you have a pool of Run Directors who can rotate at the event?
  • Can more than one person access the event inbox?
  • If you weren't there for a few weeks, could the event still happen?
  • Do you feel you can take a week off and/or visit another parkrun occasionally?
  • Could someone step into your role if you left abruptly?

If the answer to the majority of these questions is no, please take some steps to remedy this and/or speak to your Event Ambassador.

Knowledge is power, and in this case it really does need to be shared for the benefit of all.

Volunteering Top Tip - Recruiting volunteers at your event

Surveys undertaken by parkrun show that an incredibly high number of volunteers (over 50%) first signed up to volunteer whilst actually at an event.

Use a whiteboard or print off a paper roster and get someone to float about before, during and after the event recruiting parkrunners to volunteer at future events. People are often more than happy to volunteer if they are offered the opportunity.

Volunteer Hub

As always, we would really love you to take a look around the Volunteer Hub, where you’ll find all that you need to know about volunteering at parkrun. You can read more about our guiding principles for volunteering here and learn about the different roles that are required for parkrun events.

In addition, the parkrun Safeguarding Hub contains everything you need to know about safeguarding children and vulnerable adults at parkrun events.

Meet parkrun Volunteer @rebecca_liz_runner

“My original plan was to do some parkrun tourism but they couldn’t go ahead. I thought I’d pop down to my local parkrun and volunteer. My name wasn’t on the roster but I was up & about so why waste the opportunity!

With the icy & cold conditions extra marshals & volunteers are super useful! My station was at the bottom near the cenotaph, just to make sure no one slipped on the bend.

It was so lovely to see so many friendly faces & have a good chin wag!”

parkrun volunteer @rebecca_liz_runner

Thanks for reading, wherever you are in the world, and wishing you a great February of parkrunning.

James Kemp,
Global Operations Manager