RSPCA is calling on animal lovers to volunteer at Great North Run

The RSPCA is in need of volunteers to organise, cheer and take snaps at the Great North Run 2019.

Runners for Team Animal will be taking on the challenge alongside the 57,000 people pounding the streets of this popular half-marathon course.

The run will take place on Sunday 8 September in Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, with thousands of people taking on the 13.1-mile challenge.

The RSPCA is appealing for people to get involved by cheering on more than 80 RSPCA runners raising money for animals in need, as well as photopapers to take pictures on the day and an events assistant to help with the logistics.

Karl Mawson has been a volunteer cheerer for the last four years and has enjoyed every second. He lives in South Shields and loves the fantastic atmosphere of the Great North Run event.

Karl, who works as a checkout operator at Tesco in Gateshead, said: “The reason I do this every year is I really enjoy working with the RSPCA and meeting enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. I would urge everyone to consider coming down and supporting the RSPCA runners at The Great North Run.

“I always went down to watch the event anyway and I wanted to get involved but didn’t know how. At the time, I was unemployed, and I was given a flier saying the RSPCA wanted volunteers at the job centre, so I applied and was asked to be a chief cheerer.

“Chief cheerer basically involves coordinating the other volunteers and the photographer and coming up with the game plan months in advance to make sure everyone is where they should be.”

Volunteering at fundraising events like the Great North Run makes a huge difference to the atmosphere and helps the runners get through the tough moments of the challenge.

The Great North Run starts in Newcastle and the route travels across the iconic Tyne Bridge before finishing in the coastal town of South Shields.

Volunteers must be aged 16 or over and will be provided with an RSPCA T-shirt as well as a volunteer pack including a map, a guide, cheer sticks and banners.

Photographers do not need to be professional, but a photography background is ideal, perhaps a photography student looking to get some experience or someone who has a passion for capturing images with a good quality, SLR style camera.

To find out more about volunteering at the Great North Run visit www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/fundraise/running/gnr.