Fiona Wright: Why I volunteer

Fiona Wright, Volunteer run leader, Attingham Park, Shropshire

Fiona Wright - Fiona Wright, Volunteer run leader

Fiona volunteers as a run leader at Attingham Park, Shropshire. She tells us in this story adapted from our spring magazine, how she became involved in running after the birth of her two sons.

Attingham Park night runners

How it all started

I discovered running after having my two sons and I wish I’d found it sooner. My husband took up running to help manage his diabetes, and when he started losing weight and having fun I thought I’d give it a go. I started going out on my own and doing our local parkrun, and then realised the benefits myself. I never imagined I would end up leading others to help them get the most out of running.

Becoming a run leader

When the opportunity to become a UK Athletics volunteer run leader came up at Attingham two and half years ago, it seemed like a great way to do something I love that would fit around my family and work commitments. Running in beautiful grounds means people really look forward to coming. The deer sometimes run with us too. I now lead small groups of runners once a week through the parkland, and help give them the confidence to get what they want out of our sessions.

Run in beautiful grounds and the deer may join you
The fallow deer herd in the Deer Park at Attingham Park, Shropshire
Run in beautiful grounds and the deer may join you

How running helps

Most people are new to running or getting back into it after a long break, and it’s amazing to see them develop. Last time everyone ended up being able to run 5k, but that's not necessarily the goal – above all, we are a social group.

" Taking up running has increased my confidence, and it’s lovely to pass that on."
- Fiona Wright

I’m not an elite athlete and I wasn’t massively sporty before I started running. I think that helps motivate others to realise they can do it too. Taking up running has increased my confidence, and it’s lovely to pass that on. I’ve met some wonderful people and have really become part of Attingham’s volunteer team.

This article was first published in the National Trust Spring 2018 Magazine.