Running, Volunteering

A group of parkrun volunteers, some in pink parkrun hi vis vest, pose for a photo at Yarborough parkrun .

Active Nation develops the only ‘Y’ UK Parkrun thanks to Sport England’s Together Fund.

Parkruns are set up all around the country, as a free, community event where you can walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. Active Nation’s Yarborough Leisure Centre wanted to establish a 5km parkrun in Lincoln to cover the North of the City and in doing so, introduced the only Park Run in the UK starting with a ‘Y’ in the winter of 2023.

Thanks to £5,000 of Sport England’s Together Fund, distributed by Active Lincolnshire, they were able to complete the franchise registration that includes everything required to establish and run a parkrun including a defibrillator. Additional money was spent to support the purchase of equipment, first aid training for volunteers and marketing in the local community.

449 participants took part in the inaugural Yarborough Leisure Centre parkrun event supported by 31 volunteers on 4th Feb 2023. Since then, more than 4,500 people have completed the flat, tarmac course supported by 341 volunteers with an average of 195 finishers per week. Being a ‘Y’, Yarborough parkrun attracts lots of ‘parkrun tourists’ each week (with runners aiming to visit parkruns with every letter of the alphabet!) and the volunteers and regulars make all participants welcome and feel part of the Yarborough community.

volunteers in pink high vis vest, watch as running head through a line of orange cones.
Volunteers are essential to supporting parkrun.

People of all ages have got involved in the new parkrun since its inception from completing the course, to volunteering.

Rebecca aged 8 told us,

“I really like my local parkrun, it makes me happy to help, support and cheer people on. I have helped marshal, where I cheer everyone on and I have also been a park and tail walker. I also enjoy running/walking it as I get to spend extra time with my mummy.”

Tom, a regular participant told us, “I just wanted to send a message to thank you all for keeping the Yarborough parkrun going, it’s a great inspiration for me. At the start of 2023 I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease so rather than sit on my backside and feel sorry for myself, I decided to do something about it. With Yarborough parkrun only a mile from my house it sounded ideal. Next week will be my 25th parkrun so you all must be something right to keep me coming. It does help having such friendly happy marshal’s cheering me on. A big thanks to all’’

Brian Thompson, Volunteer Event Ambassador for parkrun in the East Midlands and who manages the Yarborough parkrun, told us,

” The funding, provided by Sport England via Active Lincolnshire, has enabled parkrun to set up a third event in and around Lincoln. Nestled within the Ermine West suburb, parkrun is now within easier reach of residents on the North side of the city meaning that they too can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that parkrun brings to communities. Parkrun is a lot more than just a free walk or run around a 5km course.

Simply volunteering at the events gets people outdoors and active, feel part of an inclusive community, make friends, receive appreciation from participants and leaves you with a feel-good feeling boosting your mental health.

Brian Thompson, Volunteer Event Ambassador

Every parkrun event is continually on the hunt for volunteers and each week the Yarborough event needs to fill around 20-25 positions to take place. Volunteer roles range from setting up and packing away and giving the participants encouragement out on the course, to working the finish funnel to provide the finishers with times.

With its three events at Boultham Park, Doddington Hall and now Yarborough Leisure Centre, Lincoln now has a really good spread of parkrun events in the city. Hopefully we will also have a long-awaited junior parkrun event to compliment them.’’

Jayne M, a regular participant summed up the passion everyone has for the Yarborough Parkrun, ‘’As someone who is passionate about physical activity and an enthusiastic, if somewhat past my best, runner, if anyone asks me “Why Yarborough parkrun?”, my answer is “Y not!”

Get Involved

If you would like to get involved at Yarborough, or any of the other Lincolnshire events, you can visit their website, email them, or simply turn up and watch or chat to the team in Hi-Vis vests:

Yarborough Leisure Centre Website


Find other parkruns in Lincolnshire.