What attracted you to volunteering at events?
My day job is working as a reporting developer at the BHF. I wanted to find out what things were like on the front line: to meet some of our supporters and find out what it’s all about. It’s incredibly humbling to see what people are prepared to put themselves through for a cause they care about.
How often do you volunteer?
On average I volunteer at a couple of events each year. I usually work at the London to Brighton Bike Ride. I would love to volunteer at the London Marathon next as I’ve heard the atmosphere is amazing.
What does it involve?
As I have an IT background, I tend to get involved in setting up the infrastructure the day before: meeting the local contractor and testing the connectivity to make sure the team can communicate with supporters and participants, and so that we can process payments on the day in our pop-up shop.
On the day of the event, I’ll be on site as early as 6.30am to test everything and then help the rest of the team with setting up: putting up banners, laying out badges and lots of carrying! Over the course of the day, I’ll do various jobs: manning the pop-up shop, handing out medals and water and cheering riders on as they come through.
What’s your favourite thing about volunteering?
It’s completely different to the day job – I get to take my mind to a different place and retune. I’m generally not a fan of big crowds so I find this is a great way to get out of my comfort zone - and there’s something lovely about being the face people see when they’ve finished a tough event.
What’s your most memorable moment as a volunteer?
My favourite memory is of the London to Brighton Bike Ride finish line. A woman had just finished and her legs were shaking because she was so exhausted. She came over and gave me a big hug and thanked me for what I was doing.
The whole day I kept getting hugs, handshakes and even the odd kiss – and all I was doing was handing out medals!
What would you say to anyone who is thinking about volunteering?
The only way to find out what volunteering is like is to give it a go. It’s an immeasurable experience and totally addictive!
If you have been inspired by Jason's story and think you would like to volunteer with us, why not register your interest to volunteer at an event near you.
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