I want to be ... a Preston Guild volunteer

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With Mike McCann, Event Support Volunteer for Guild 2012

What qualifications do you need? No qualifications are needed but having a good sense of humour is essential. Volunteers have many roles at each event and I could be welcoming the public at first and then supporting stall holders to set up tents and gazebos later. Most tasks are fun and it is useful to be able to expect the unexpected.

Any other requirements for example health and fitness or age? Having an interest in helping people is the main requirement. Guild only happens once every 20 years and everyone over 16 is welcome to apply. In addition to event support, there are lots of different roles.

How long does it take to qualify for the role? My induction included an information session at the Guild Hall and I also did a training day. We covered areas including health and safety and how to be a useful team member and in just a few weeks, I was helping at my first event – egg rolling at Avenham Park.

What sort of starting salary and package can you expect? Although there is no remuneration, I have gained in ways that money can’t buy. Training is on-going and events sometimes require you to learn new skills like marshalling a road race and issuing electronic timing chips for competitors.

What sort of personal skills make someone best suited to a career?

Common sense and enjoying helping members of the public to get the most from the events. I marshalled the cycling races earlier in the year and it felt good to be thanked by competitors, as it did when I assisted with the event to choose the Caribbean King and Queen for 2011.

What sort of career prospects and structure is there? Guilders are all making fantastic progress by volunteering for the varied activities. Events Co-ordinators are always present and they assist the volunteers whilst making sure everything runs smoothly.

What kind of job satisfaction can you expect from a career? My job satisfaction is to see that all the preparation helps to make an event run on time so that the public can take part and enjoy their experiences on the day. I hope by this time next year I, and many others, will have done our bit to make Preston Guild 2012 a great success.

In 50 words sell your profession. One of the main aims of the Guild is to foster friendship and to take opportunities when offered. I have enjoyed meeting people and building friendships. I have gained unexpected benefits such as meeting an Olympic athlete and using my photography skills to record events.