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Tag: sport volunteering

The Liverpool FC Foundation’s impact on volunteers with a disability 

Volunteering organisations like the LFC Foundation are increasing sports participation amongst young people with complex and additional needs, and the positive impact those volunteers have on their community.

We spent a few days volunteering at the LFC Foundation at their Respect 4 All activity day.

Volunteering for the LFC Foundation

Our day as volunteers at the LFC Academy was non-stop from the get-go. We arrived and were given our volunteering kit as well as a detailed briefing about the day ahead. We had just enough time for a quick coffee before people started to arrive.

I could immediately tell that the children looked forward to these events from the big smiles on their faces and the numbers just kept growing and growing. It was going to be an action-packed day for the volunteers and participants.

There were a number of different games, which offered something for everyone there. The coaches split everyone into groups by age categories. My group were all full of energy before the goalball activity. They even insisted on penalty shootouts and racing me while we waited for our next game. I was exhausted!

As the day went on, we all got to find out more about each other, and what activities we enjoyed the most. For me this was the most striking effect of the activity day, not the activities, fun though they were, but the interaction and the positive energy. The inclusivity of the day was amazing and differences in situation and ability were quickly forgotten as everyone got involved.

The event on the day had over fifty participants with thirty parents and guardians attending. It was a great turnout and a brilliant success and I would encourage anyone to get involved.

The impact of foundations on volunteers with a disability

Respect 4 all is Liverpool FC foundation’s inclusive, weekly multi-sport event. The event is for children and young people with complex and additional needs in the Liverpool community.

The Foundation is one of many across the UK, helping get more disabled young people into sports and regular physical activity. The Liverpool FC Foundation is one of many that are funded by the premier league and BT.

Volunteering with a disability

We all know the social benefits that volunteering can generate, both for the individual volunteer and those around them.  These benefits are arguably even more important to a person with a disability.

But, for years there has been an underrepresentation among people with a disability in the voluntary sector. In 2015 only 36% per cent of people with a disability or long-term illness participated in some form of volunteering. However, through the work of Liverpool FC Foundation, the hope is we can help these numbers grow.

30% of grant-receiving organisations, like Liverpool FC Foundation, have reported that they have seen an increase in confidence and development of people skills in their volunteers. This was evident in my interview with Steve and Dylan, two young men who are involved with the ‘Respect 4 all’ programme.

16% of these organisations have also suggested that volunteering has enabled disabled volunteers to gain employment. Disabled volunteers experience a reduction in social isolation, become role models for other disabled participants and develop real-life skills.  These are serious benefits that really impact the quality of peoples lives and should not be taken lightly as to their importance.

So what are the benefits of engaging volunteers with a disability?

Volunteering is an act of kindness, a way of helping others, therefore,  it should be universally accessible. Engaging volunteers with a disability would not only enhance their skills but the capacity of the organisation itself.  It is important to break the social stereotypes.  A diverse voluntary organisation better understands the barriers disabled people face on a daily bases and that understanding can only lead to an improvement in the provision; especially when organisations see the potential disabled volunteers hold.

Overall, our day at the LFC Academy was enjoyable, educative and inspiring. It was amazing to see the high turn out and how much everyone looked forward to these weekly activities. The LFC Foundation has impacted so many peoples lives and by the success of the program, it looks like they will continue to do so.

TeamKinetic is volunteer management software that works and is use by the LFC Foundation to help build their volunteer community. Read our reviews to find out what other volunteer managers think about TeamKinetic.

 

Volunteering Conference – Getting to know Kristen Stephenson

As TeamKinetic 4th annual sports volunteering conference approaches,  we thought it would be an excellent opportunity to get to know some of our guest speakers for the event. The theme of this year’s conference is:

‘What can sports volunteering learn from the wider voluntary sector’. 

This year’s volunteering conference will allow volunteer managers, volunteers, policymakers and academics to come together to discuss best practice as well as insights in the wider voluntary sector.

DAY 1 (TeamKinetic Customers only)

  • FREE event to TeamKinetic customers.
  •  A masterclass by Steven Hall on the TeamKinetic volunteer system.
  • Customers will also be able to discuss the future software developments of TeamKinetic.

DAY 2

  • Denise Larrad – BBC Sports Personality 2017 Unsung Hero award winner
  • Kirsten Stephenson – Head of Volunteering – Sport England
  • Laura Hamilton – Volunteer Management Consultant – Laura Hamilton Consulting and member of the Association of Volunteer
    Chantel Scherer – Director of Marketing, Communications and Member Engagement at Sport & Recreation Alliance
  • Mike Howlett – Volunteer & Citizenship Lead – Sefton Volunteer Centre
  • Claire Jones – Head of Volunteering – Halton and St Helens Volunteer Centre
  • Fiona Liddell – Volunteering Development Manager – Welsh Council Voluntary Action (WCVA)

Kristen will be leading the first session at our conference with a session on…

“Volunteering in an Active Nation: How cross-sector collaboration can unlock the potential of volunteering in sport and physical activity”

Kristen has recently joined Sport England as Head of Volunteering. She leads on managing the 32 projects across Sport Englands Volunteering Funds and supporting the delivery of the strategy ‘Volunteering in an Active Nation’. These funded projects are focused on getting young people involved in making a difference through; social action, sport and physical activity and creating opportunities to get people from economically disadvantaged areas involved in volunteering.

The most important things for you as a volunteer manager at Sports England?

“A key priority for my role is to focus on how we can increase the diversity of people volunteering in sport and physical activity. I manage our Volunteering Funds which are all testing approaches to reaching people who are currently underrepresented; particularly those in lower socio-economic groups and women. This is one of the most challenging but exciting areas of my work! I am really passionate about making volunteering in sport more inclusive so that more people can experience the benefits.”

Your best or most memorable volunteering experience?

“One of my most memorable volunteering experiences has to be helping out at my running club’s midsummer relay race in my local park. It was a beautiful summer’s evening with a great turnout! I was taking on a new volunteer role- timing the runners taking part. This was a bit nerve-wracking, to begin with, and hard work but starting the big race clock and seeing everyone have a great time was totally worth it!”

What to expect from you on the day of the conference?

“Expect to find out more about Sports England’s strategic ambitions for volunteering and hear how we’re working with and learning from the voluntary sector to make these a reality. I hope people will find out more about our work to increase the number and diversity of people volunteering in sport and physical activity and perhaps be surprised at how we are working differently to achieve the aims and objectives of our strategy. I’m also really keen to hear from delegates about their work in this area too and so I hope it encourages people to come to share their ideas and what they are working on too.”

We look forward to having Kristen at the conference and learning about more Sport England’s strategy.  We hope you are as excited as we are TeamKinetic is to hear what our other guest speakers have to talk offer. Above all, we hope to see you there for a great day!

If you’re still undecided,  why not read our six reasons to attend the volunteering conference!

For more information on the volunteering conference and how to purchase a ticket. Please click this link.

 

 

Introducing TeamKinetic: Chris Martin – What has Volunteering ever done for me?

Volunteer Managers have reason to celebrate this week with International Volunteer Managers Day on the 5th November and TeamKinetic released their latest updates on VolunteerKinetic 7.3!

We decided to take this opportunity to introduce or remind our beloved Volunteer Managers of who TeamKinetic are. Throughout the week we will be releasing a series of Blogs on each of our team members, with their story in volunteering and TeamKinetic.

To kick things off, I thought I would write my blog first. My topic of choice:

What has Volunteering ever done for me?

As I start to write this blog, I’m reminded of the scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian where John Cleese as the Head of the Judean Peoples Front asks what have the “Romans ever done for us?”, if you have never seen this before, please take two minutes to enjoy this clip.

It is often hard to see the impact of volunteering has whilst actively participating in it. At the time when I undertook my voluntary roles, it was to fulfil a specific need that was being neglected or because someone close to me would ask if I could help.

Only upon reflection can a true appreciation of volunteering and its impact be noticed. In both my personal and professional life, volunteering has built longstanding relationships, that I still value today.

As a younger man, I remember wondering how I would continue some form of swimming once I had completed my lessons. I wanted to keep the competitive aspect that I enjoyed but did not want to continue into highly regimented adult swimming club that was on offer. My options presented themselves as either hanging up my goggles for good or travelling excessively to join another more sociable club. Neither one did I find particularly attractive.

Instead, I wanted something at my local pool, where I could continue developing my ability, maintaining enjoyment and friendly competition.

It was then, I saw a need for a local water polo club!

My friend and I decided that we could run this together. So we planned a pitch for the pool manager and after successfully convincing him of the potential our idea, he agreed to give us a slot.

The catch, however, was that the only available slot was 18:00 -19:30… on a Friday!

At the age of 18, this would break into essential socialising time and we wondered if we could get the attendance we desired. Disregarding this constraint, we decided to go for it and accepted the time slot!

By no means was it an easy ride from there, as the club required a big commitment for two teenage lads, demanding time spent planning, coaching and running the club as a whole.

Of course, we enjoyed doing it, but I would be lying if I said it was always easy going, as sometimes it really could be a pain in the backside!

At times it took some real perseverance to push the club through but the next two years saw us build our club to the level we desired! Eventually, my time to leave for University came, but we had built a club that had gone strength to strength, continuing in existence today (twenty years later!).

With the benefit of hindsight, I can look at that experience differently now. I developed planning skills, interpersonal skills, worked out how to get things done within a public-sector environment, I developed relationships that I still use professionally and friendships I still value today.

Many of the benefits of volunteering cannot be effectively measured, certainly when I started my volunteering journey neither had I considered too.

But now, I think differently. These experiences helped me identify elements of social capital that before I had never considered, and now would never underestimate or value.

I went on to become a qualified Physical Education teacher and set up a business around sports coaching, this journey started at that water polo club, not through any specific long-term plan but to some extent, due to the direction of travel that was started with this experience.

For the last eight years, I have worked in the sector and have grown to appreciate how complex peoples’ motivations to volunteer can be. Often it is beyond the simple reason of being ‘fun’ that we give our time but in the knowledge that we are helping to make a difference.

Since founding TeamKinetic, these beliefs and experiences have driven me daily. We have made it easier to find and be involved in Volunteer opportunities, whilst making it easier to recognise hard work and commitment in a way that is engaging and simpler for organisations that depend on their amazing volunteers.

I hope you will join us on our mission to build stronger more engaged communities, and if you find yourself asking the question, what has volunteering ever done for me, you too, can tell your story about how it has changed your life for the better.

If you fancy having a talk please feel free to email or call me!

Thank you,

Chris

Sales Director

Chris@teamkinetic.co.uk

How can NGBs do more with less in this new world of funding from Sport England

So as the dust settles on another funding announcement from Sport England, it’s clear we are definitely in uncharted territory. With many National Governing Bodies (NGBs) receiving significantly less than in sport-england-active-nationprevious periods we look at how the role of the volunteer will become essential in improving our sporting institution’s resilience.

The last round of funding covered 46 sports between 2013 and 2017 and with a total value of £493 million. The newly proposed £88 million spread across 26 sports, with four sports accounting for just under 50% of that funding is a deep cut to our sporting infrastructure. Sport England, operating in these austere times, have had to make some tough decisions and their new approach of encouraging NGB’s to focus on their “core market” may prove to be the best opportunity for a return on this significantly reduced investment. Only time will tell.

Further announcements are due in February, but it is doubtful that any major changes or reversals will be announced. What is clear based on the announcement yesterday is it is going to be a challenging environment for this next funding cycle.

So what do NGB’s do now?

Beyond getting all their members to start buying lottery tickets here are some ideas and thoughts that we thought it would be useful to share.

If all the NGB’s stopped existing tomorrow, would people still be playing sport this weekend?

I know this is something of a loaded question, of course, they will, but, only by relying on the ubiquitous and passionate volunteer-led sport across the country. NGB’s are still vital to the efficient delivery and development of their sports, but now they must learn to effectively leverage their volunteer base if they want to see their sport flourish under such deep cuts.

 

The growth of NGB’s over the last 20 years through the cash injection offered via lottery funding changed them in many cases into fully professional businesses that thought in terms of customers. They were more income-driven and had significant overheads to cover, as is typical during periods of rapid organisational growth. Of course, this led to improvements in a range of areas such as safety, facilities, professional levels of training, policy, etc.. and some of these improvements were drastically required. But in that jump to a more professional world, some of our traditional voluntary infrastructure struggled to keep up.

It is here that we think NGB’s can make some drastic gains with their core market. By understanding the many roles played by people at local, county, regional and even national level and what engages and motivates those individuals to give up their time is the area which could have the largest potential impact.  How many of these functions are volunteers, even though many may not self-identify as such, is one of the many questions NGB’s need to answer. How do you upskill these people, how do you empower them and how to ensure you do not rely on the same individuals undertaking all the work every week.

This next four years is an opportunity to reinvent many NGB’s from the ground up, to look at how you make them local led grassroots organisations that can simultaneously grow participation, membership and customer base. To do this requires two of the most valuable resources available, people’s time and enthusiasm.

NGB’s will have to become much better at responding to the demands of their stakeholder base, of directly engaging and understanding what the volunteers who operate their clubs and county organisations want and need.

In 2016, there have never been more ways to participate at a local and hyper-local level. With more channels available via social media; new ways to raise capital via crowdfunding and peer-led lending. NGB’s that thrive will use this technology to drive the benefits and stories about their sport locally and nationally. This will not be a top-down marketing campaign as these are often very expensive, but it will be a bottom up user led movement. An example of the type of user led content I refer to can be found on line; right now there are 13.3 million Parkour and 4.6 million Freestyle football user-created videos on YouTube.

It will be the role of the NGB’s to make it easy for participants, volunteers, helpers, and officials to create and/or find existing communities where individuals can engage directly. We have used these concepts and ideas as we have developed our volunteer management platform TeamKinetic and we continue to try to build using these principals:

  • Empower people to do it for themselves.
  • Reward and recognise them and when they do, do it in a way that appreciates what motivates them.
  • Make getting involved easy to find and then intuitive to undertake.
  • Share your successes and your failures with your community so that everyone can learn.

Our technology is not for everyone right now, but we know these principals superseded the digital realm. Not everyone wants to engage via their computers or phone, but the principals stand no matter how you look to engage with the people who make your sport happen. We find its a combination of people, policy, process and technology that allows an organisation to scale the use of volunteers effectively.

If you would like to know how we can help you reconnect with your volunteer base, how our systems and research can empower more people to get involved and how you can recognise those people; who support your organisation week in, week out. Our work and that of our partners as part of the Join In consortium is available, and we are keen to talk to all NGB’s on how we can help you do more with less. Feel free to contact me at chris@teamkinetic.co.uk or call our office on 0161 914 5757.

BADMINTONscotland launch VolunteerKinetic volunteer portal

badminton_scotland
Badminton Scotland are looking to recruit hundreds of new volunteers through the launch of their new volunteer portal powered by VolunteerKinetic in their preparations to host the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017.  To be part of this event and loads more before just go to;

volunteer.badmintonscotland.org.uk

The Total BWF World Championships will see the very best players in the world arrive in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from the 21st  to the 27th of  August 2017, tickets available from here.  Scotland’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour will lead the home challenge as she looks to build on her Glasgow 2014 silver medal at the same venue while GB stars and World Superseries Final winners Chris and Gabby Adcock will be looking to repeat their gold medal success from Glasgow 2014

Scotland has a fantastic history for running truly world class events and with the facilities Glasgow can now boast it has world class venues to match, but a big part of what makes the Scotland such an attractive venue for these events is the passion and commitment of the NGB’s and their legions of volunteers.  BADMINTONscotlands Chief Executive Ms Smillie recognised both huge potential and also the huge challenges that face her team in realising that this event offers a once in a life time opportunity to build a great legacy for Badminton in Scotland.

“As a governing body you aspire to host these events, not just because they are exciting, but because they provide us the opportunity to promote and develop our sport in so many unique ways” said Ms Smillie, “We know we have a committed community of Volunteers in Badminton Scotland that will help make this event special, but it is ourslider 2 ambition to open this opportunity to people outside the badminton family and use it as  a catalyst to grow our sport over the next 4 years”

When we asked how you turn these events into a legacy, Ms Smillie offered this advice for other NGBs “World class venues and events are fantastic, but supporting people who are passionate about your sport as volunteer officials, coaches, and event staff to name just a few of the jobs we have on offer; is what will drive the continued growth of our sport”

We at TeamKinetic have prided our selves on developing a platform that is as well suited to major events as it is to supporting the local badminton club find some one to wash the kit, as we know it takes all sorts of people doing many different tasks to make sport happen.  So it was great to hear Ms Smillie when she said  “VolunteerKinetic provided a simple solution to how we identify, recruit aTeam-Europameisterschaft 2012nd retain our volunteers  that was great for the World Championship Finals but more importantly is it will leave a sustainable legacy that we can continue to build on after this event.”

So if you love badminton and you want to be part of the action follow the link below and sign up as a volunteer for BADMINTONScotland and who knows you could be court side next year for the World Championship finals.

volunteer.badmintonscotland.org.uk

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

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