#KentFAThanksU - Volunteer Centres

As part of our volunteer celebrations the #KentFAThanksU campaign has teamed up with a number of organisations to help support Kent clubs and leagues.

Volunteer Centres encourage, promote and facilitate regular volunteering and engagement in local communities, supporting local people to help them and help each other. Centres can help support Kent football clubs and leagues by promoting volunteer opportunities, training and recruitment of volunteers.

In today’s feature we spoke to Julie Watling from Swale Community & Voluntary Service who gave her top 10 tips for clubs and leagues when it comes to volunteers.



1. Creating volunteering opportunities

The roles for volunteers need to be of benefit to both the organisation and the volunteer. A variety of roles will attract a diverse range of volunteers – think outside your normal roles – offer admin roles, finance, grounds person.

2. Recruiting volunteers

When advertising the role, ensure the benefits to the volunteer are listed – for example gain new skills, enhance CV and training being offered.

Use a variety of channels to advertise – social media, websites – both your own and that of county wide organisation, local volunteer centre and the national volunteering website, www.do.it.org.uk  –  you can promote your opportunity directly on this website or the volunteer centre can upload on your behalf.

3. How to register an opportunity with your local volunteer centre

-          Contact your local volunteer centre – click here to find your local centre.
-          An organisation registration form will need to be completed – providing details of your club and the opportunity available. Once the form is completed, the opportunity will be advertised within the centre, at any volunteering events and will be uploaded to the national volunteering website, www.do-it.org.uk.
-          The volunteer centre is happy to display any posters or flyers which can be handed out to any prospective volunteers.
-          The volunteer centre will receive any applications from the do.it website and then forward any suitable to the club
-          The volunteer centre will also search through its database of volunteers and forward details of the club’s opportunity to those who have expressed an interest.

4. Selecting volunteers

Try to conduct any interview informally but ensure the conversation has a purpose – make sure the role is explained and the volunteer knows what is expected. If you have a number of opportunities a ‘taster’ day may be more appropriate. Taking references are good practice – normal criteria is known to the volunteer for at least three years and not a family member.

5. Supporting volunteers

The main reason volunteers leave an organisation is lack of support. Simple gestures make a difference:

-          Regular contact.
-          Say ‘Thank you’.
-          Point of contact within your club.
-          Make them feel part of the club – encourage any new ideas or suggestions.
-          Support and encourage.
-          Regular supervision sessions.
-          Reimburse expenses.

6. Training

Training is an important method of providing support and an effective training programme for volunteers is highly recommended together with an induction.

-          Introduction to the club including roles and responsibilities
-          Health and Safety
-          First Aid
-          Safeguarding of children
-          Club rules
-          Recognition of personal and professional boundaries
-          Accredited training e.g. FA coaching courses
-          Training helps volunteers feel part of the club and valued.

7. Remove barriers to volunteering
Make volunteering with your club attractive – encourage people to get involved

-          Pay out of pocket expenses
-          Offer a variety of opportunities which require a different level of commitment and skills
-          Organise transport where necessary
-          Ensure all buildings have disabled access
-          Target specific under-represented groups eg. Young people, unemployed, disabled people and people from black and ethnic minorities
-          Adapt roles to individual’s needs
-          Minimise the amount of form filling and bureaucracy

8. Involving young volunteers

Young volunteers, particularly those who leave school without going on to further education, benefit enormously from volunteering. Young volunteers can also benefit the club by having fresh, new ideas and enthusiasm. Make volunteering attractive to young volunteers by :

-          Offering roles in social media or website design/updating.
-          Administration roles where they learn new skills and gain experience.
-          Roles that gain a qualification e.g. coaching.
-          Experience in working with children.
-          Make the young people aware that volunteering looks favourable to employers and enhances their CVs.
-          Approach young people organisations and local secondary schools.

9. Volunteer role description

Ensure your role description includes details of skills needed, experience etc.

-          List all main duties of the role.
-          Specify hours needed or particular days.
-          Any age restrictions.
-          Training that will be offered.
-          Skills required.
-          Requirements needed – references, DBS check.

10. Volunteer policy

Any club utilising volunteers must have a volunteer policy as good practice. This should demonstrate:

-          Commitment to volunteers
-          Consistency – all volunteers are treated fairly and equally
-          Clarity – volunteers know where they stand
-          Unity

Your local volunteer centre can help with writing a volunteer policy.

Get your club and league involved

If you’re a member of a local football club or league, then you’ll know how valuable volunteers are.

#KentFAThanksU is your chance to celebrate and show your appreciation for those volunteers that make the game in your area possible for so many. We have launched a toolkit full of useful resources so clubs and leagues can make the most of the campaign by clicking here.

For more details

For more details of how your club and league can get involved please email volunteer@kentfa.com.


Also make sure you follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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