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Clubs are reliant on the skills, passion and commitment of individuals who give up their time to enable others to take part in sport or physical activity.
Whether they give up a few hours a month to lend a hand, or travel up and down the country every weekend coaching a team at matches, volunteers are the life and soul of community sport, without whom grassroots sports simply would not happen. This means that if you are a club that relies on volunteers, it's important you know how to inspire, manage and support them, recognise their hard work and make sure they know how valued they are.
It's also important to recognise that volunteering is changing. In today’s busy world, with competing demands on our time, people are looking to give their time in different ways. With only 30% of people interested in giving their time on a regular basis, and the majority now favouring ad-hoc, bite-sized opportunities to help, it’s important for clubs to respond to these societal changes and recognise the importance of providing volunteers with positive experiences. Positive experiences are linked to increased volunteer retention, so helping to create a positive volunteering culture is mutually beneficial to both the club and the volunteers.
Coronavirus and helping volunteers to return
The Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on sports clubs, with clubs having to adapt what they deliver and how. Inevitably, volunteers have a considerable role to play to ensure that clubs can return to activity in a way which keeps participants safe. In turn, clubs have a responsibility to ensure that volunteers feel supported and confident that they can give their time safely.
There is no one-size fits all guide to how clubs should prepare for and manage a return to activity, and the guidance we provide should be considered alongside national governing body 'return to play' guides, as well as other national guidance.
It's the responsibility of clubs and organisations to review the guidance and apply what they feel is relevant in a way that's appropriate for their volunteers and the types of tasks and activities they can, or will, be able to do. To read the guidance, which has loads of useful things for you to consider, please click here.
Peterborough Town Sports Club coaches and volunteers discuss how they have helped people back to activity
For the rest of the videos in this series, visit our YouTube channel here