Interpreter/Communication Running Guides

 Interpreter/Communication Running Guides wanted

As part of the YOUchoose consortium led by Action Deafness, deafPLUS are pleased to join as a partner to deliver a high quality PA service in the Greater London Area. The aim of the PA community support service is to ensure independence amongst our clients building their confidence and enabling them to learn new skills.

deafPLUS is a vibrant charitable organisation with a lively team. We are currently looking to recruit a pool of IRGs (Interpreter Running Guides) to join our PA Service.

We have a very exciting and unique opportunity to combine your British Sign Language/communication skills and running to enable a BSL Deafblind runner to be more independent and have better access to races and events.

Do you love running? Have you got what it takes to make a difference to the life of a Deafblind runner?

  • Can you run 5k in 20-25 minutes?
  • Can you run 10k in 45 – 55 minutes?
  • And, can you run a half marathon in 1 hour 45 minutes – 2 hours?

We are looking to recruit a pool of IRGs to join deafPLUS to support the runner at various ‘Runthrough’ events in London and elsewhere on Wednesday evenings and at the weekends.

What are we looking for in an IRG?

  • You will have experience in running events and be a member of a running club
  • Be able to work flexible hours including evenings, weekends and bank holidays where necessary to guide the Deafblind runner at events/races
  • Have passion for running and enthusiasm
  • Be able to work on your own initiative
  • Have a good level of BSL, preferably level 3 and above and have experience of interpreting **Please note it is not a requirement to be a qualified interpreter for this post**
  • Desirable – experience of working with Deafblind people would be an advantage, including the use of Deafblind manual, other communication methods and guiding skills.

The rates of pay for IRGs is £20 – £35 per hour dependent on level of BSL skills.

Benefits to you:

  • Free Sighted Running Guide training by England Athletics to become a licensed running guide (see below)
  • Free entry to races and events when working
  • Up to 25 days paid holiday (Exc. Bank holidays)
  • A comprehensive training package including Interpreter Guide qualifications
  • Auto Enrolment Pension Scheme
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Enhanced DBS check paid for by deafPLUS

**Training will be provided**

England Athletics Sight Loss Awareness and Guide Running Workshop Information:

The England Athletics Sight Loss Awareness and Guide Running workshop has been developed in conjunction with British Blind Sport and provides runners, leaders, coaches and volunteers with information and experience about supporting visually impaired people to run. The workshop covers a number of areas including types of visual impairment (VI), behaviour and terminology and how to make running sessions VI friendly. The two hour workshop also includes a practical element where attendees get the chance to experience guiding and being guided by each other.

Following the workshop, you will become a licensed running guide

(Although there is no Deafblind (DB) equivalent training, deafPLUS will work with England Athletics and British Blind Sport (BBS) to include types of Deafblindness and to make sessions DB friendly.)


Guidance for the role of an IRG

  • You don’t need to have prior experience in guide running to become a guide runner, but you do need to love running and have experience in running events. Training will be provided.
  • Don’t run too fast and keep a steady pace with the DB runner. Always let the DB runner set the pace. It’s not your job to set the pace unless the DB runner asks you to.
  • To interpret/communicate race briefings and other social chat amongst other runners and organisers.
  • Be alert and communicate often. As a guide, you need to be aware of what is ahead of both you and the DB runner at all times. Be conscious of distances, ground width, elevation, obstacles and everything else you see with your peripheral vision.
  • Point out all potential hazards such as slippery sections, gaps, puddles, potholes, obstacles, dogs, kids, other runners and everything else that you might encounter.
  • Be patient when guiding a DB runner through a course, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. They will not see you well due to the environment, or they might get confused with directions.
  • At times, you have to be assertive, especially in risky and hazardous situations. It’s perfectly fine to stop and go around an obstacle, or to yank a DB runner out of the way if it’s too late and their safety is at risk.
  • It’s normal for a DB runner to inform the guide what he or she is doing wrong and will offer suggestions on how to improve it. Don’t take offense. You have to be open to suggestions and accept criticisms as ways to improve your guiding skills.
  • Keep in mind that you’re not a coach, so never order a DB runner around or shout. Don’t be condescending and patronizing either.
  • To interpret/ assist with communication in post-race social chat amongst fellow runners and organisers.

If you are interested in the post, please send your CV and a covering letter explaining how you meet the criteria above “What are we looking for in an IRG?“ by Thursday 19th July 5pm to

Interviews: Weds 25th July at deafPLUS Bromley