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The power of giving back: Hari’s volunteering experience

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Nick Edmondson


For the last two years, Hari Joshi has volunteered at the Leeds Half Marathon in support of charity partner Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Equipped with cheer sticks, banners and endless enthusiasm, Hari is part of the team giving runners a special Yorkshire cheer as they pass. He shares his experience of volunteering for Yorkshire Cancer Research.

A man with cheer sticks watches and cheers runners

Why did you decide to volunteer?

Volunteering has always been a passion of mine because I believe in the power of community and the difference we can make together.

I chose to volunteer for Yorkshire Cancer Research at the Leeds Marathon because I have seen firsthand the impact of cancer on families and friends. By supporting this cause, I can contribute to vital research and support services that offer hope and healing.

Over the past five years, this commitment has grown stronger, and each marathon reminds me of the strength, resilience, and spirit of both the runners and the community.

What was your favourite moment from the day?

My favourite moment from the day was when a runner, clearly exhausted but determined, stopped briefly at our cheer station. The energy and encouragement from our team lifted their spirits, and you could see the renewed determination in their eyes. It was a powerful reminder of how a small act of kindness and support can make a huge difference.

Watching that runner push forward with a smile, fuelled by our cheers, was incredibly moving and exemplified the true essence of community and support.

A group of people in front of a Yorkshire Cancer research banner clap passing runners.

How would you describe your experience in three words?




What would you say to someone who was thinking about volunteering at an event?

If you're considering volunteering, I would say go for it! It's an incredibly rewarding experience that allows you to give back to the community in a meaningful way.

You’ll meet amazing people, be part of a supportive and passionate team, and witness the incredible resilience and determination of the participants. Not only will you make a difference in the lives of others, but you’ll also find that the experience enriches your own life in ways you never imagined.

Volunteering at an event like the Leeds Marathon is not just about the event itself; it's about being part of something bigger, creating lasting memories, and contributing to a cause that truly matters.