Trust tested at parkrun

By admin,
— Thursday 23 June 2022

A statement from the Chair of Trustees:

At parkrun we believe in people. We believe people are fundamentally good and that they should be trusted to act properly. And, we believe in a fair world, where people do the right thing.

Our model involves the global charity at the centre providing a framework that can be followed and implemented by local communities, entrusted to deliver the same great parkrun experience every single week. In turn, ambassadors, event teams and participants trust the small central organisation to make the right decisions at the right time, and always in the best interests of parkrun and the communities in which we operate.

The success of parkrun is due in no small part to a simple idea delivered simply. But it is also because we place an emphasis on and greatly value trust.

Consequently it is with great disappointment that I must inform you that we have recently found ourselves responding to an incident within the charity that has significantly challenged our trust.

We discovered that our previous Chief Executive Officer Nick Pearson had an undisclosed and unapproved agreement by which he was receiving a commission from a third party supplier in regard to the creation of the clothing brand CONTRA in 2018. At no point was this conflict of interest disclosed to the Trustees or anyone else involved in parkrun.

Our new Chief Executive Officer uncovered the irregularity when liaising with the third party supplier and reported it immediately to the Trustees. The Trustees have sought advice from independent professional advisers, including legal and accountancy firms, to ensure that the necessary steps have been taken to deal with the incident and recover the funds. Alongside that, the appropriate statutory bodies have been informed.

The independent investigations have not identified any other areas of concern. Nick Pearson has repaid the funds in full to parkrun. He has also committed to covering the costs of the investigation.

Despite this disheartening incident, it is vital that trust continues to be a core value for the charity. Thank you all for everything you do for parkrun, and for your trust. Please understand that it will never be taken lightly.

Gavin Megaw
Chair of Trustees, parkrun Global

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