Volunteer Update - April 2022
Thanks for dropping in to the Volunteer Hub to read the April volunteer update.
A couple of positive pieces of news to kick us off - global registrations have now passed 7.5 million and in March we saw 371 junior parkruns taking place on a single Sunday, which was an all-time record!
Changes to our Dogs policy
As a reminder, the new policy regarding participation with dogs is now in place. From (and including) Saturday 2 April we will no longer permit parkrunners to use waist harnesses when participating with their dog. The new policy states the following:
“One dog on a short, handheld, non-extendable lead by the side of the participant, and within reach at all times. Care must also be taken to avoid tripping other parkrunners.”
From 2 April the policy should always be stated in the first-timers welcome and pre-event briefings. If an event team sees someone who is not following this policy, they should sensitively discuss the matter with them, and explain that they may not be included in the results in the future.
We would like teams to log an incident in each case of participants with dogs not following the new policy, but please do not exclude them from the results. Head Office will take further action if necessary.
Respecting other park users
A central part of the parkrun model is that we share our public spaces with other members of the public, and that we do not have exclusive use of the paths and spaces that we use. Everyone else has a right to be using these public areas on a Saturday or Sunday morning, so it is really important that all parkrunners are considerate of other park users.
As volunteers, we are the public face of our organisation on the day, so it’s important to remind everyone taking part of this principle, whether this is at the pre-event briefing or via instructions out on the course. By explaining politely to members of the public who may not be aware that parkrun was taking place, we help to minimise any conflict that may otherwise occur.
Partner updates around the world
As we know, the support of our partners helps us keep parkrun free, for everyone, forever, so we’re excited to announce some changes to our partnerships this month.
In Ireland we’ve welcomed Lidl as Official Fresh Food Partner, Lidl will be visiting events and offering parkrunners exclusive vouchers.
In Australia and New Zealand we welcomed Polar as an Official Partner and Blue Frog in Australia as an Official Supporter.
Finally, in the UK, De’Longhi have joined the parkrun family as Official Coffee Supporter and plan to tour the country with their specially adapted coffee van. WithU have most recently been announced, coming on board as Official Digital Fitness partner, they’ll be creating content specifically designed to help parkrunners on their parkrun journey.
You can expect to see all partners out and about as they visit parkrun events.
Adding volunteers to the roster via our Volunteer Management System
There are three ways to add volunteers to the roster. You can use the ‘search vols’ tab to find a person by name or parkrun ID or the ‘top 10 stalwarts’ (the 10 most active volunteers over the past 12 months) tab or the ‘recently active’ (those who have volunteered in the past 4 weeks, excluding the top 10 stalwarts) tab to drag and drop volunteers effortlessly into roles.
To use the drag and drop function, click on the ‘order’ drop-down menu which can be found on the far right hand side. See the image below:
Select the applicable template from the drop-down menu. See the image below:
Please note that you will need to select this whenever you log into the WebFMS on a new device to set it as a user preference.
This month we continue with the volunteer video series that helps to guide us through some of the most common volunteer roles at parkrun.
This time we take a look at the role of Timekeeper. Some people can be a little bit apprehensive to take on this role, but as the video explains, it’s fun to be at the centre of the event, and the Virtual Volunteer App makes timekeeping really easy.
We encourage everyone to share the video series, whether on your home event page or across your personal social media pages to help promote parkrun volunteering in a positive way. Each video ends with a ‘call to action’ to remind people of some of the ways they can volunteer at your local event.
First Timers Briefing becomes First Timers Welcome!
As mentioned in the March edition of the Volunteer Update, the role of ‘First Timers Briefing’ has now officially been renamed ‘First Timers Welcome’ on the Volunteer Roster and in our communications, to reflect the welcoming nature of the role.
Meet parkrunner Shane, from Melksham parkrun
My first Melksham parkrun was 23 December 2017, now firmly established as my home parkrun. I started running the course, then got into volunteering.
I then got invited to be on the Core Team and am known as the Rhyming RD. Seeing the improvements in people's health and supporting them along the way is probably the most satisfying feeling in life, this is why the hi-vis heroes play such an important role each and every week.
Late last year I became an Event Support Ambassador and am extremely proud to be in this voluntary role, a chance to learn from other Core Teams and RDs and to share best practice and some great ideas making parkrun even greater. I'm proud of my parkrun journey and proud of those who have been with me along the way.
Wherever you are in the world, I wish you a fantastic month of parkrunning in whichever way you choose to participate, be that volunteering, walking, jogging, running or spectating.
Global Operations Manager