What It's Like To Volunteer At Coastrek?

30 Jun 2022

Volunteering is the ultimate mental health win/win. Have you ever heard of the ‘helper’s high’? Research has found that you get a massive hit of dopamine - the feel-good hormone - when you help someone. A mental health boost of good deeds out, good vibes in!

There’s something extra special about being there for people when they are undertaking a major life challenge. Our ‘vollies’ (volunteers) are not just a practical support crew for our trekkers; they’re also there to provide moral support every step of the way.

One part of the puzzle is getting everything ready in the morning... setup, team changes or directing trekkers to the start line. 

Another key element is shouting encouragement and offering support. You might need to sit and chat to someone who is wondering whether they can - or should - continue, or shake your pom-poms and ‘woo hoo’ someone who is powering past.

Our trekkers come in all shapes and sizes and so do our support crew. Volunteering at our events is inclusive. We have opportunities for people of all ages and abilities.

From pro-level volunteers who have been doing it all their life to juniors who want to learn about events, or even just the Coastrek ‘curious’, we welcome volunteers of all genders and ages. We also attract a lot of volunteers who have friends walking but can’t commit to walking 30kms. Showing up on the day is a practical way to support your mates while also supporting mental health through our chosen charity, Beyond Blue.

Sound good? Here are some answers to common questions to help you decide if this is the gig for you. 

What volunteering jobs are there?

There are three types of roles at our events. They are:

Volunteer Captain

If you are a natural leader and problem solver, this job is for you! You will support the Site Manager by taking charge of your station and assisting the other volunteers to perform their tasks.

Event Day Assistant

Are you an all-rounder who loves a challenge? You could be setting up, packing down, tidying, handing out snacks, or answering questions. This role supports the Site Manager and the Volunteer Captain.

Team Changes Assistant

This is a good one for early birds as you will be the first person our trekkers meet on the day. If you love the detail and you’re task-oriented, this is your kind of job. Also, you get to sit down so it’s good for that too.

How long do I need to be there?

There are multiple shifts throughout the day, with the shortest shift coming in at around two hours and the longest shift at around five-and-a-half hours.

We ask volunteers to arrive fifteen minutes early to get settled in. There will be a place to safely stow your belongings and you are entitled to breaks and refreshments during your shift.

How do I get there?

All Coastrek locations are accessible by car. You will need to drive there and park nearby and then walk to the ‘Vollie’ Station to register.

We will notify you of your shift time two weeks in advance and give you clear directions on how to get to the event site.

If you don’t have a car and public transport is not an option, get in touch beforehand and we will try to arrange to carpool for you.

Do we get given anything?

Yes, you do! If you like free stuff, well, you’re in for a treat. The big win for volunteers is that they receive free entry to a Coastrek event anytime in the next year. In addition to this, you will receive a certificate of appreciation from Coastrek and Beyond Blue (upon request), a Coastrek neck buff, and a Beyond Blue cap, and all volunteers receive a $15 voucher to use at the food and drink outlets on the day.

What’s more, you’ll get on-the-job experience at one of Australia’s biggest outdoor fitness events and have the chance to watch hundreds of trekkers push through personal barriers to achieve big goals. We think that’s priceless.

What do I need to bring?

We have all kinds of supplies and equipment on-site but we also suggest you bring some of your things along.

We recommend that you bring a jumper, sunscreen, a refillable drink bottle (we are trying to avoid single-use plastics where possible), snacks, any medications you may need throughout the day, and a charged battery pack for your mobile phone.

Can I take photos?

Hell yes! You’re very welcome to take photos throughout the day and we encourage you to share your experience on social media by tagging @coastrek and @beyondblueofficial on Instagram and using the hashtags #coastrek #walkingformentalhealth.

Sound like your kind of thing? Find out more about volunteering at a Coastrek event here.