Volunteering Matters – January 2017

Happy New Year to everyone involved with Chichester parkrun including anyone thinking of trying parkrun for the first time - everyone is welcome no matter previous experience or ability.

 

Personally I hope that we can attract many more beginners into parkrun this year. Last year 1748 different people ran at Chichester parkrun (averaging about 134 per event) - this shows how our local parkrun has become successfully established but looking to the future I do wonder how things could potentially progress. We have all heard about our generally poor health as a nation and I expect that most of you see parkrun as a great way of addressing this problem. However, although we now have a successful parkrun in Chichester I suggest that we have only engaged with a small proportion of the 30,000 people in our catchment area. Locally most active runners are aware of or involved in parkrun but what about the other 28,000 or so others ? Food for thought ?

 

Looking back on 2016 we successfully filled a total of 804 volunteer positions which meant that we averaged 14 volunteers per week. We should be very proud that we consistently managed to field a "full team" and increasingly we have succeeded in our aim of starting each "parkrun week" with the roster already in good shape. In 2016, 185 people volunteered at Chichester. Viewed as a proportion of the total of 1748 people who ran you can see that there is still plenty of scope to enlarge our volunteer base.  

 

January is when we find ourselves facing all those things that we decided to leave until after Christmas. Do you make a Things to Do List ? I admit that I often do this but rarely follow up and tend to rely upon my conscience to stir me into last minute action.  Sometimes though we overspend or "over-exert" ourselves over Christmas so a fast start to the New Year takes a real effort. A few days ago I thought we might be seeing something of this "post-Xmas" symptom; however, the January Roster has now started to fill up quite nicely so hopefully we will soon be repeating the FANTASTIC December volunteering effort with the roster almost full from the beginning of the month.

 

Having already passed the shortest day of winter the "glass half-full" among you might already be tentatively starting to think about getting through the next few weeks of winter and anticipating the start of Spring. After an injury plagued 2016 when I volunteered more often than I actually ran I am mentally "wiping the slate clean" and hoping for some good running in 2017. It was parkrun that got me started in running and it is parkrun that still motivates me to continue. Volunteering on a regular basis has kept me in touch with my parkrun friends and given me the appetite to get back. I find the concept of Age Grading a useful motivator and as a new member of the VM70 group I am looking forward to seeing how I compare with a new bunch of contemporaries. 

 

I imagine that with your generally positive attitudes most of you will be thinking about your challenges for 2017. For many of us parkrun has given us the base from which we can now participate in longer events and achieve things that we previously never even considered to be possible. I know that parkrun often acts as a trigger to re-awaken dormant instincts to be involved with and support others and personally I have discovered that not only running but also volunteering create that feelgood factor - so if you want to feel REALLY good in 2017 get running AND GET VOLUNTEERING !
   
One final point. Please remember that there is a defibrillator installed on the wall close to the main entrance to the Rugby Club. Should the need ever arise please do not hesitate, since obviously one of the main reasons for this installation is to minimise any delay. Please do not delay if you are worried about how to operate it. The procedure is very user friendly and at parkrun there will always be other folk nearby to help.

 

Our volunteers did a fantastic job over the last 12 months and our volunteering situation has improved. It would be a shame to lose the momentum that you all created last year and it would be great to welcome more volunteers this year. Please at least put Volunteering on your 2017 "Things to Do List" but better still sign up TODAY.

 

Thanks to everyone who volunteered last year - we hope to see you and many new volunteers in 2017.

 

Geoff

 

How to get involved.

A good first step is to Opt-in to receive our regular Volunteer Emails. These keep you in the picture on all volunteering matters without any obligation. It is quite simple to opt in. Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign in here to your parkrun profile: https://www.parkrun.com/signin/
  2. Select email options
  3. Select Chichester from the drop down
  4. Click 'Opt in'
  5. 'Save opt-in events list'.Please get in touch should you wish to help out this week another week or just wish to enquire or inform us about something.

If you wish to volunteer go to the Volunteer section on this website for full details.

 

Volunteering Matters – October 2016

The holiday season can sometimes make it difficult to find volunteers but at Chichester parkrun our volunteers have been brilliant this summer hence only the occasional "Volunteer Appeal"  hitting your Inbox recently. We are very conscious that for those who do help it can be a little annoying to be constantly receiving appeals etc so we are trying to run the Volunteering Matters campaign in a suitably low key whilst hopefully not becoming complacent or letting our progress slip backwards.

We hope that volunteering becomes fully ingrained in the culture of Chichester parkrun so that everyone realises why it is necessary and willingly makes a contribution from time to time. Ideally volunteering should be the norm for all parkrunners. Speaking personally I now regard volunteering as an absolutely integral aspect of parkrun. I have not been able to run on quite a few occasions this year but joining the event for a little volunteering has kept me involved. I suspect without volunteering I might have lost my connection with parkrun and with it one of the main motivations to get fit again.

I see three components that make up the parkrun experience. Firstly,of course, there is the actually running and exercising bit. It's probably why we joined in the first place.

Anyone who has participated in any parkrun will already appreciate the second component. It gets described in many ways - words that I regularly hear and read include "family", "friendship", "welcoming", "inclusive", "community spirit", "atmosphere" etc. You can take your pick but these are just some of the ways in which parkrun is more than simply a Saturday morning run. This second component is probably why we return to parkrun again and again.

The third component is in many ways the most important - it makes things tick and is also the most rewarding and fulfilling element. No prizes for guessing that I am am talking about volunteering. If you have only enjoyed the first two components you may wonder whether your parkrun experience really can still be improved - so you may have a pleasant surprise awaiting you.  Please try volunteering to discover how parkrun becomes rewarding, worthwhile and fulfilling.

So why have just two-thirds of the parkrun "cake"? Volunteer and get the full experience !

Many thanks to everyone who has helped at Chichester parkrun in recent weeks - it would be difficult to imagine that the case for volunteering could still not be accepted by all our participants but we do appreciate that everyone has their own commitments and responsibilities so finding the opportunity to volunteer is not always straightforward. Some of the best decisions we ever make come about unexpectedly through chance, accident or serendipity so if you have not volunteered please have a go and it might be one of your best decisions !

If you need more convincing follow this link to read what some other people say......

www.tinyrunner.org.uk/an-open-letter-to-parkrun-volunteers/

Geoff Sumner

How to get involved.

A good first step is to Opt-in to receive our regular Volunteer Emails. These keep you in the picture on all volunteering matters without any obligation. It is quite simple to opt in. Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign in here to your parkrun profile: https://www.parkrun.com/signin/
  2. Select email options
  3. Select Chichester from the drop down
  4. Click 'Opt in'
  5. 'Save opt-in events list'.Please get in touch should you wish to help out this week another week or just wish to enquire or inform us about something.

If you wish to volunteer go to the Volunteer section on this website for full details.

 

Volunteering Matters (6) – 13 July, 2016

Congratulations !
By becoming a runner of any standard you have already demonstrated your powers of self-motivation. In your running you have found the way to utilise your qualities of self-motivation. Some people fail to unlock these qualities in themselves - others do not apply this attribute in other aspects of their life.
But as a parkrunner you are already on the right track. So Yes - Congratulations !

 

Remembering my first parkrun my motivation to run (well, at least finish) was pretty high. But what about my motivation to volunteer ? Confession time - I had hardly given it a thought ! My appreciation and commitment to volunteering was lagging far behind my interest in running. My motivation to run and my motivation to volunteer are now in a better balance and I can honestly say that I find both very rewarding.

 

So perhaps you can try this little exercise - look at the 1 to 10 scale below and choose the comment that most accurately describes your present status as a Runner. Then do the same again for your status as a Volunteer......

 

1. I have never thought about it

2. I understand reasons and benefits

3. I am thinking about starting

4. I do intend to start

5. I have committed to my first event

6. I have done my first event

7. I have done several events

8. I am a regular participant

9. I want to do more

10. I strongly advocate

 

How do your Running and Volunteering answers compare ? There is no "right answer" - we do not expect "Perfect 10's", but this may help you find your own personal balance between running and volunteering at our Chichester parkrun.

Hopefully you have found that your commitment to running has brought plenty of satisfaction. I also hope that you agree that a similar commitment to volunteering can be equally rewarding. Whilst we can try to motivate people to volunteer at parkrun in various ways this can only be a short term approach. In the final analysis people become volunteers through their own self-motivation; they remain volunteers because their self-motivation is repaid by personal satisfaction or self-fulfilment.

As a parkrunner you have already shown what your self-motivation can achieve. Please use your positivity to help our volunteering effort.

 

This week.
Another great team of volunteers this week with Sandra BALCOMBE, Jacob CARR, Matthew COURT, Kirstie MAY and Eric WOOD helping us for the first time. This must be a record number of first time volunteers at Chichester. As always massive thanks to all this week's volunteers.
If you are thinking of volunteering please do not "lose the moment" - do it now ! If the roster looks full do not be put off - an extra pair of hands is always welcome or otherwise book your preferred role a couple of weeks in advance.
 
 
Geoff Sumner 

How to get involved.

 A good first step is to Opt-in to receive our regular Volunteer Emails. These keep you in the picture on all volunteering matters without any obligation. It is quite simple to opt in. Just follow these steps:

  1. Sign in here to your parkrun profile: https://www.parkrun.com/signin/
  2. Select email options
  3. Select Chichester from the drop down
  4. Click 'Opt in'
  5. 'Save opt-in events list'.Please get in touch should you wish to help out this week another week or just wish to enquire or inform us about something.

    For further information please go to the Volunteer Section on this website.

 

 

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