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Volunteer Update - January 2022

January volunteer update

Welcome to the monthly volunteer update for January, the first of a new year!

At the start of 2021 around 400 events were being held around the world, whereas that number has now grown to over 2000 events taking place each weekend with the recent return of parkrun events in New South Wales, Australia and in New Zealand.

Whilst the situation is still uncertain, and parkrun remains absent in several countries, notably Singapore and Malaysia, when we look back at the situation 12 months ago, we should acknowledge that huge progress has been made since then.

2021 in Stats

Despite it being an unusual year, more than 175,000 unique participants volunteered on over 750,000 occasions; we welcomed more than 50,000 brand new volunteers, and almost 30,000 people performed the role of barcode scanner for the first time in 2021. Thank you for being part of it.


In 2019 (the most recent year with a full set of data), 9617 incidents were recorded across parkrun events around the world.

Every week we review every single incident that has been logged with us over the previous weekend. We categorise each one as either a dispute, medical, operational or safeguarding issue, or sometimes as a combination of several of those, and they are also graded for severity.

Note for core team members:

You may hear from one of us at Head Office if we consider your incident warrants further investigation, and you are equally welcome to contact us via if you have any further information to add to one of your incident reports too.

After review and/or once we are satisfied with any follow-up activity, we archive each report on the system where they are still available for reference if required.

All incidents should be recorded by completing an incident report form via WebFMS during results processing. Please only record one incident at a time and use the ‘Add Additional Forms’ button to report any further incidents.

If you discover that an incident occurred after you processed your results, please report it using the ‘record incidents’ option available via the menu on WebFMS.

Please also ensure that you provide plenty of information, in particular the names of the people involved and their parkrun ID (whenever possible), and consider the wording carefully. The report may need to be referred back to at a later stage, such as in the case of a serious incident.

Repeat incidents may need to be linked to your Risk Assessment and/or you may need to consider altering your course to negate a perceived risk.

parkrun defines a critical incident as a threat to life or immediate threat to the welfare of an individual. If a critical incident occurs at your event, it is very important that you follow parkrun’s Critical Incident Protocol. This link also contains the numbers for the Critical Incident Line which is always available on event days.

Please continue to log all your incidents with us in 2022. The information is invaluable.

New version of the Virtual Volunteer released

The new version of the Android Virtual Volunteer has recently been released, which amongst other improvements, helps to fix scanning issues for some android phones. In particular the issue with the camera on the Huawei P30 Pro model has now been resolved with this update.

Most people will see these improvements directly, but if you have not got auto update on, please update your app to get the latest version.

As of now we are working to:

Version 2.1.0 (147) on Android

Version 2.0.8 (64) on IOS

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 Paula Kearney

I was Tail Walker at Houghton Hall parkrun and got chatting to a mother and daughter, Ciara. I realised that the daughter was blind, she could go faster than mum but was happy to walk and complete the parkrun. A week later after researching visual guide advice, I completed my first volunteer role as a visual guide. I'm inspired by Ciara every time.

Visual Guide image

Thanks for reading, wherever you are in the world, I hope that you have a fantastic 2022 with plenty of parkrun participation.

James Kemp signature