The Join In blog: Tagged "parkrun"

Join In passes the volunteering baton onto the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Hello from Sport and Recreation Alliance

Welcome to Sport and Recreation Alliance. As we take hold of the reins, we want to highlight our plans for Join In and share what volunteering means to us.

Volunteering is at the heart of sport and recreation in this country. Just last weekend I saw this first hand, very clearly in athletics.

On Saturday morning I, like 100s of 1000s of others, took part in my local parkrun, set up and managed by friendly enthusiastic volunteers always ready with a clap and a cheer on the 5km route. Later on Saturday I had the privilege of attending the England Athletics Annual Awards and Hall of Fame evening. Whilst the room was full of many very well known athletes, past and present, it was the stories of the volunteers that stood out the most. People who had dedicated their lives – in one case more than 60 years – to their sport. (more…)

Recent News

Fuelling local sport in one London community.

Herne Hill community of sport

Herne Hill in southeast London is one of the most physically active areas in London, where sport is thriving. It takes the dedication of hundreds of volunteers to create such an active, healthy and connected community.

Herne Hill Harriers is a community running club that prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming. They set up a Join In page in 2015 and have attracted more than 10 new local volunteers since then. “We’ve had some great volunteers come through from Join In,” Barbara, the Club Secretary said.

One such local volunteer is Sarah, who lives very close to Tooting Bec, the club’s main training ground. She volunteered at the Cerebral Palsy World Games as an athlete marshal and in the call out room. After that, she was interested in officiating and getting involved regularly at a local club, so she searched for opportunities on the Join In website and found the Herne Hill Harriers.


Through her volunteering, Lucy Tickle helps make her local parkrun happen.

parkrun’s junior volunteer – one year on

In 2014 we spoke to Lucy Tickle, one of parkrun’s youngest volunteers. We caught up with Lucy again to see how her volunteering and running are going.

Do you still help out at your local parkrun?

Yes, when I have a running event at a weekend, it’s the perfect time to volunteer at parkrun.

Have you tried out any new volunteering roles? Were they fun?

I have tried token sorting, which involves sorting them into order ready for the following week. This role is fun as we do this in the café and get a hot chocolate with marshmallows! (more…)

Clive Barley, Local Leader and #BigHelpOut speech bubble technician.

Local Leader profile – Clive Barley

Marshalling, timekeeping, barcode scanning, social media, and assisting with grant applications… It’s hard to know how Clive Barley finds the time for all this volunteering. Like all our Local Leaders, he somehow finds a way.

What have you been up to recently in your role as a Local Leader?

In addition to promoting Join In whenever and wherever I can through social media and my normal face-to-face networks, I have focused on building stronger working relationships with our local sports development officers and the Lancashire Sports Partnership↑.

We are discussing how we can increase the number of Join In Local Leaders in Lancashire and how we work together in partnership to share volunteering opportunities and encourage more volunteers. The Big Help Out campaign has been fun, generating lots of opportunities for photos with the speech bubble. It created quite a buzz and lots of interest in volunteering across social media. (more…)

Our year in pictures.

Our favourite photos from 2015

Here at Join In, we’re lucky to receive photos of our volunteers on a regular basis. Over the course of this year, we’ve worked with a handful of professional photographers and also received loads of pics taken by just about everyone with a smartphone.

Here are our favourite photos of the year. Look closely to see if you can spot anyone you know!

Join_InBGD-64 (more…)

Join In's Top 10 blogs of 2015
What were your highlights from a great year in volunteering?

Join In’s top 10 blogs of 2015

In 2015, our blog covered everything from korfball to blind golf. We bring it to a close with some of our favourite blogs from the past twelve months.

10. Fat boy Slimmer

Ben Fairburn once weighed twenty-three stone, now he weighs fifteen. Ben wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the help of volunteers. Here is his inspirational story:

Fat Boy Slimmer

The transformation of Ben before and after running is remarkable. (more…)

“By volunteering... I feel easier about approaching people and I've discovered more about myself" says Nilu.
“By volunteering... I feel easier about approaching people and I've discovered more about myself," says Nilu.

Nepal to Northala – a parkrunner’s tale

Nilu found friends and fitness at her local parkrun. Now she’s helping others do the same.

Born in Nepal, Nilu Dewan now lives in London and is a loyal volunteer at Northala Fields parkrun↑. In a bid to lose weight, Nilu took part in her local parkrun.

Having lost weight, lowered her blood pressure and been taken off the diabetes “at risk” list, Nilu helps inactive people address their health issues and motivates them to take up physical exercise.

What motivated you to start volunteering at parkrun?

I became aware of parkrun through Santosh, a member of the Nepalese community who does a lot of voluntary work. parkrun events aren’t complete without volunteers. I like helping people and I think it’s a good way to encourage not only runners but non-runners to keep themselves fit and healthy. (more…)

Eddie Izzard will be leading the #BigThankYou for the second year at BBC Sports Personality
Eddie Izzard will be leading the #BigThankYou for the second year at BBC Sports Personality

Eddie Izzard to lead the #BigThankYou to grassroots sport

We’re back at BBC Sports Personality of the Year!

Join In and BBC Get Inspired are joining forces again to lead the UK’s biggest thank you to sports volunteers at BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015.

Taking place in Belfast on Sunday 20 December, Join In patron Eddie Izzard will be asking the sporting greats attending the star-studded event and the viewers at home to say a #BigThankYou to the UK’s unsung heroes of sport.

Eddie said: “It’s incredible how many people are investing their time into helping others stay fit and active. Whether it’s friends motivating each other to go out running, an enthusiastic parent collecting subs or the coach taking training each week, there is a whole army of helpers out there, building their communities by making sport happen. We want to celebrate their incredible achievements and everything they do for British sport.”

Live on the red carpet, Eddie will be manning our gold phone box and inviting the stars to phone and surprise outstanding sports volunteers, saying a #BigThankYou for all their hard work. (more…)

parkrun for everyone!

Where there’s a Will, there’s a run

How volunteering at parkrun helped a young boy overcome some of the difficulties of autism and embrace a whole new community.

When Kate Gardiner took her children to their first parkrun, she hoped the family would start to enjoy a healthier lifestyle together. However, her 10-year-old son Will has embraced parkrun more than she ever expected.

Will has high functioning autism and attends mainstream school. In some ways, the high functioning nature has made things really hard for him.

“On the face of it, he looks ‘normal’” explains Kate, “but he’s awkward in social situations and this had led to him feeling alienated in activities he’s taken part in before.” (more…)

"People running by us and other park users were giving us so much encouragement that we were both buzzing afterwards." – Roz
"People running by us and other park users were giving us so much encouragement that we were both buzzing afterwards." – Roz

A running guide

When sports enthusiast Alison Mead lost her sight, she was worried that she’d never run again, but an introduction to Roz was the start of a new running journey for both of them. Alison and Roz share their story.


In 2005 Alison (pictured above, right) lost her sight following a brain haemorrhage and four strokes. After putting on a huge amount of weight, she looked for ways to find support and get active once more.