Meet Gina, our Course Manager for the Moonlight Walk, which takes place each summer.

What’s your volunteering role?

I act as Course Manager for the Moonlight Walk and the Santa Fun Run. As soon as a venue has been found for hosting the event, work begins on planning the route. Together with Helen, the Event Projects Manager at Katharine House, I walk the proposed route, decide where marshals will be needed, draw up a plan of the signage for the route and we carry out a risk assessment. I also spend a lot of time working with the marshals before and during the event to ensure they’re happy with all they need to do to.

That all sounds like a lot of work. Can you tell us a bit more about what it involves ahead of the event?

For the Moonlight Walk, I walk the route several times ahead of the big day, in different weather. I also walk it once at the same time of night as the walk takes place, to check the conditions at that time of day – a road crossing during the day can be very different at night.

Early on the day of the walk, together with a small team, I put up lots of signage along the route, checking that there are no new obstacles along the way. These are mostly arrows, but also signs showing where the 10-mile and 6-mile routes split, where marshals are to stand, inspirational signs and the all-important mile markers.

Shortly before the event, I’ll brief the marshals, making sure they all know where their marshal point is and that they have all they need for their shift. The marshals really are the best and without them, the walk wouldn’t be the same. The direction and encouragement they provide for the walkers is invaluable!

And what do you do during the walk itself - and then afterwards?

As the walk is about to start, I’ll check the marshals are in place and wait near the start until the event is underway. Once the walkers are on the route, I drive round the course, letting marshals know where the walkers are and making sure they’re OK.

Once the last walker has crossed the line, I co-ordinate the de-rig team, who zip around the course, taking down all the signage. I then walk the off-road sections early on the Sunday and drive the rest of the course, just to make sure we have removed all the signs ... nobody likes to see a stray random arrow!

Phew! That’s a very busy weekend! How long have you volunteered at Katharine House?

Ooo … erm ... four, maybe five, years in this role? Not really sure. Who’s counting?!

Why did you choose to volunteer for the hospice?

This is probably the toughest question, mainly because I don’t know what was the original single thing that pushed me to volunteer.

A very good friend of mine spent her last few hours at the hospice and I am truly grateful for the care that she received at that time.

The hospice is an amazing place and one that I feel proud to help.

The hospice asked for volunteer marshals at a Santa Fun Run and I thought, “I can do that and I’m free on that day” – that’s where it started!

What do you like about volunteering for Katharine House?

I love being a part of these events! There is nothing quite like watching a long line of walkers weaving their way along a route and that feeling at the end of the night of ‘Job Done’ when the last walker crosses the line. To have been a small part of it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

What would you say to a friend about volunteering here?

Do it! There are so many different roles, there will be something you can do. You can and will make a difference to so many people’s lives.

Country walk or city break?

Haha! Unsurprisingly, country walk!

Dog or cat?

Dogs all the way - not many cats enjoy a good walk!

EastEnders or Corrie?

Enders is a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Katharine House Hospice