Volunteers’ Week – Power of Youth
As we delve into National Volunteers’ Week, Wednesday 2 June will celebrate the Power of Youth Day, an annual celebration of the contribution children and young people make in society through volunteering and social action.
Motorsport UK has a strong vibrant volunteer community, made up of over 30,000 people across the UK, who come together to create the backbone of the sport every week, organising thousands of events each season.
The knowledge and experience built up by Motorsport UK is vast, and it is important to pass on the knowledge and encourage the next generation of volunteers into motorsport. One initiative is through the role of Cadet Marshal for those aged 11-16. This first-step into the world of volunteering opens up a range of benefits. Although unable to perform trackside duties, there are plenty of interesting roles to undertake at a motorsport meeting.
Ahead of Volunteers’ Week, we sat down with Charlotte Edwards and Jayden Firth along with their respective families to find out more about them becoming a Cadet Marshal volunteer.
Charlotte (13) is the third-generation motorsport volunteer in the Edwards household, as parents, grandparents and cousins have all got involved. “I would say I have done 11 events now in assembly areas, and with my family all involved, I was always going to help out at some point,” explained Charlotte who was a previous Cadet of the Year award winner.
“There is lots to do on event, it never gets boring and it’s great to get close to the cars. I have learned a lot and would say you gain great awareness and being able to speak to all the different people at an event as you try to help them, while you remain calm. I would recommend people my age to give it a go. You get accepted as part of a team and I love meeting new people and making friends and learning new skills. One of my favourite things I have done was learning how to use a fire extinguisher at training days at Donington and Prescott and I loved it – putting the fire out and the challenges around fire. One day, I would love to marshal in the pits at the British Grand Prix – that would be my dream.
Fellow Cadet recruit Jayden Firth (13) also came from a motorsport family with volunteering in his blood, as his Dad is the safety car coordinator for the British Racing and Sports Car Club (BRSCC). Going away with his Father on weekends, the bug bit and when he was old enough, Jayden became a Cadet Marshal. “I have done a few events in the assembly area at Mallory Park and Donington and done some bits in Race Control. I really like getting involved and learning as much as I can and I would one day like to become the youngest Motorsport UK Clerk of Course – I have a few years to get there however,” joked Firth.
“The skills I learn are really important and help me at school, and I think will really benefit me in the future. I think I am a lot more organised now, you have to be when you arrange 30 or more cars in an assembly area in a tight space before they go out for a race. I also think communication skills are important as you talk mostly to adults and one of the things I love is helping people and seeing them enjoy the event which I am helping to organise.
When asked about how people can get involved, Jayden was quick to respond.
“Go to a few events or a few race meetings and enjoy the sport and also watch what goes on by the volunteers in the background. If you like the look of it, and want to get involved, it’s quite simple to become a Cadet Marshal. You will begin your training and meet so many like-minded people, from all walks of life which creates a great social scene. You will be waiting for the weekend to come around, very quickly each week!
To find out more about becoming a Cadet Marshal or Volunteer, visit the Marshal section on our website HERE to join the Motorsport UK volunteer community today.
A big thank you goes to Charlotte, Jayden and their families and to every volunteer in Motorsport. We really appreciate all of your hard work. Who knows we might see Jayden Clerking some of our biggest race meetings while Charlotte will be in charge of the pitlane at the British Grand Prix.