‘I declare that I am physically and mentally fit to carry out my duties and that I will inform the organisers immediately should any change in my condition occur which I have reason or ought to have reason to believe would affect my ability to carry out my duties.’
Did you know this sentence forms part of the declaration that you sign every time you volunteer?
In training we are told to look after ourselves, our buddies, drivers and then worry about the cars. So be selfish and make sure you are ok before you even get to the event – and if you are not well enough then don’t battle on but send your apologies to the Chief marshal. No one will thank you for carrying on if you later require medical attention or put someone else in danger.
Be prepared for the weather – another essential training point. Your welfare is your responsibility – so make sure you have waterproofs, sun cream, hat and food and fluids for the day. Put extras in the car and if the organisers provide something see it as a bonus not an entitlement. A number of events provide water bottles but that’s not great for the environment so reuse them where possible!
We are all volunteers – we are not paid but sometimes get freebies / vouchers / raffle prizes from organisers. These should be gratefully received but not expected! I for one do this as a hobby anything extra is a bonus. I keep my raffle prizes and save them up to buy new kit!
You should be given permission to get extra supplies from your superior – even if someone stands in for you when there is no break in proceedings! Be ready for any eventuality and plan accordingly – check the weather report and plan for the opposite too. We are in the U.K. after all.
It is really important that you look after yourself but what about your buddies. We like to think of ourselves as one big family so check up on each other. And this means mental health as much as physical health.
Georgina O’Hara Smith wrote a thought provoking article for SE newsletter Page 4 – Mental Health, Motorsport and me http://tiny.cc/civxaz
Ask someone who is acting out of character if they are ok? Is there someone you haven’t seen for a while? Can you give them a call?
We have elected MIND as our charity at my workplace. The numbers are quite staggering: ‘Three in five young people have experienced a mental health problem or are close to someone who has’. MIND can help with all sorts of situations and we should help remove the stigma of mental health. It’s ok not to be ok. Thanks Georgina for opening up about this topic.
I would also like to remind all members that there is no place in the club for verbal or physical abuse, harassment or bullying of any kind. This will not be tolerated and will be dealt with accordingly. Please respect each other – opinions, decisions and outcomes all can lead to disagreement but there is no need for this to lead to anything more serious than a healthy and lively debate.
Take care of yourself and each other #orangefamily
As a reminder there’s a prize draw each month so don’t forget to check the website to see if you are a winner!