Mark Waters – volunteer tour leader and event organiser

Mark Waters starting the Tour of the Hills 100-km ride he organises
Mark Waters signs on riders at the start of the Tour of the Hills in Shere, Surrey
Mark, who is a tour leader CTC Cycling Holidays, is also a long-time ride leader and event organiser for West Surrey CTC Member Group. He describes below how he became involved with the charity as a volunteer

Full name, occupation, area you live in and name of group or activity you support

Mark Waters. Retired. Live in West Surrey and support West Surrey CTC Member Group. I am currently chair of West Surrey CTC and organise two of our main events annually. I continue to plan and run a holiday or two annually for CTC Cycling Holidays. I also work with another volunteer (Jeff Eaves) in running the British Cycle Quest (BCQ) for Cycling UK.

What made you decide to volunteer your skills with Cycling UK?

It seems to come naturally to me. Before I even took up cycling, I was for a period secretary of the London Mountaineering Club. When I took up cycling, it wasn’t many years later that I volunteered to edit the local club magazine (for West London DA).

When I joined Audax UK in about 1990, it wasn’t long before I created and ran an audax event, the Surrey and Sussex Lanes, on behalf of West London DA. I’ve continued to contribute to the running of my local Member Group because it seems like a natural thing to do – to ‘put something back’.

How much time are you able to commit?

I'm not a good 'time manager' but somehow the jobs get done, even if they're not done as quickly as they might be. Now I'm retired I have more time, although it doesn't seem that way sometimes.

Who do you support?

The local member group, West Surrey CTC

Describe a typical day in your volunteer role.

It's mostly desk work. I put some music on and just get on with it. The important thing is to be organised: don't spend any more time than you have to trying to find stuff you've done but can't remember what you did with it.

Of all the tasks you have helped on, what are you most proud of?

Since starting work at CTC HQ in 1998, I've organised and led numerous cycling holidays for CTC Cycling Holidays. Undoubtedly, taking people away on holiday and giving them a good time is a very gratifying experience. A tour is like a baby: you conceive it, nurture it and eventually deliver it. It would never have taken place without you and that is a most satisfying feeling and one which one feels proud of.

What do you get out of the experience?

See above.

Has it enhanced your passion for cycling? Have you had the chance to get out more on your bike?

Sometimes one's voluntary work involves actually riding one's bike, but I wouldn't say it has enhanced my passion for cycling. Hopefully, the volunteering I do has enhanced others' passion for cycling.

Could you describe your volunteering experience in three words?

Putting something back!

What would you say to someone considering volunteering with Cycling UK?

If you're the sort of person who instinctively enjoys playing an active part in things, as opposed to being happy simply being a bystander, then find an activity that interests you and dip your toe in the water to see how you get on. People have so many things going on in their lives these days that it's very hard finding people willing to give their time freely for the benefit of others. You're doing something very special by volunteering.

Find out more about becoming a volunteer