I volunteered at Rehab’s Parliamentary Pancake Race

Three strong teams. Representatives of the media, MPs, and Lords competing in the extraordinary event. Running around with pans, flipping pancakes. All of that for a very honourable cause — fundraising for the Rehab charity. Last Tuesday I volunteered at the Parliamentary Pancake Race. It was flipping pan-tastic. And I do promise that those two puns are the only puns I’ll make. Ever.

#1 What’s Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race

It all took a bit over than six minutes. After the welcome from Rehab’s CEO Mo Flynn, representatives from media, MPs, and Lords lined up at Westminster’s Victoria Tower Gardens. Official starter, Naga Munchetty of BBC Breakfast blows the whistle indicating start of this incredible initiative. The participants bravely run through the track that still remains wet after last night’s rain. The Pancake Race is a magnificent watch. Alastair Stewart of ITV proudly represents the media team, despite his back pain. MP Steve Pound smiles all the time, despite massive efforts put into this exhausting exercise. Baroness Bertin tirelessly flips her pancake and flawlessly finishes the lap.

My heart is set on the media representatives. I’m biased. Journos don’t win, but they fought well and are taking solid second place. MPs win, Lords come on third. There’s no losers, however. They all won! They all did that for a great cause. Now and twenty years ago (it’s the 20th time they get together in this initiative!). They’ve all been running for the Rehab charity that provides life-changing services in the areas of vocational rehabilitation and social care support, particularly for those living with an acquired brain injury.

#2 What happened on the day

Those six minutes might not seem long for an event, but there was much more to it. d2 communications, with the brilliant Irish man Don Delaney on its lead, have been working on the success of the event for the long weeks. Some of the students from our University were involved, too (including Henriette Stoll, Boryana Kermenova, and Gary Carter). First, we assisted at the shoot before the event. We were making sure props are on the right place and everything goes smoothly. Then we helped on the day — getting press contacts and issuing press releases. It was a good experience — watching the process of gaining media coverage is interesting and will be helpful for my future ventures!

#3 Lessons from running the event

Apart from witnessing the process of getting the client into press, my responsibility was to deal with media on the day. Every public relations practitioner knows that journalists are our gold and that we need to care about them. Establish good relationships with them is key. They’re incredibly busy and dealing with them can get tricky, too. Volunteering at the Rehab’s event was definitely a good lesson for me on the media relations side that gave me a lot to think.


I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I’ve had brilliant Amy Avent writing about it, too. Volunteering is really important. It can expose you to the different worlds and situations that you’d never be exposed to. I loved working with the fantastic communicator Don Delaney, talented photographer Oliver Dixon, and others involved. The highlight for me was meeting the legendary Alastair Stewart. But don’t take my word for it — try volunteering yourself. There’s plenty opportunities out there!


Make sure you follow Rehab on Twitter. Do visit their website to find out more about the charity. You can also follow Don and d2 communications.

Picture in the header by Oliver Dixon.

Post updated on 6/3, 11:17AM: I mistakenly gave the win to Lords, whereas it was MPs who triumphed. Error corrected in the post.

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