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hands raised in the airVolunteering no longer means simply baking cakes for your local church fundraiser! Today, people volunteer for many different reasons, with a wide range of organisations offering interesting and rewarding roles.

The success of local activities and sport clubs often relies heavily upon the efforts of volunteers. Volunteers can help recruit new mambers, run training sessions, organise events, provide a means of transport and carry out many other tasks essential to the smooth running of community groups and clubs. There is a large potential to maximise the activities of groups through involving and actively encouraging volunteers.

Volunteering is a great way to become involved in your own community and to help other people. The best volunteering builds on a genuine desire to help other, but this doesn't mean that the experience can't benefit the volunteer as well.

Matthew Woodhouse is the BMBC volunteering officer.

Here are a few of the many benefits of being a volunteer:

Meet More People

Regardless of your age volunteering provides an opportunity to be socially active and meet people with similar interests. It helps establish important networks and contacts, which might prove useful when looking for paid work and references.

Explore Career Options

If you aren't completely sure of the career path you wish to take, volunteering gives you a chance to learn more about an occupation before you make a commitment. Volunteering helps determine the career alternatives open to you.

Learn New Skills

As well as learning new skills specific to the volunteering role, you will have the opportunity to develop other skills such as communication, time management, organisational, decision making and interpersonal skills. Volunteer roles have varying degrees of responsibility from very little to that required to co-ordinate other volunteers or develop projects which will enable you to improve your leadership and managerial skills.

Gain Valuable Experience

If you have the skills and qualifications you need, volunteering allows you to apply these skills in a 'real world' environment, providing you with the practical experience many employers look for.

Develop Confidence

Meeting new people, exploring different career options, learning new skills and gaining experience throughout the course of volunteering will naturally help to develop your confidence and self esteem!

Make the Most of your Retirement

Volunteering is a great way to stay socially and intellectually active. As well as providing necessary structure to your week, it provides you with ongoing challenges and something productive to channel your energies into.

Be Part of a Team

There's nothing more rewarding than being part of a successful team, with shared goals much can be achieved.

Take Positive Steps to Improving your Health

Many volunteer opportunities allow you to get out and about in the fresh air, becoming a volunteer walk leader is a perfect example of how your role can alos benefit your own health by increasing your levels of activity.

Volunteering provides an excellent opporuntity to create intergenerational relationships. Younger volunteers benefit greatly from the skills and expertise of older people and retired professionals. In turn, older people are kept in touch with their own youth through interacting with today's youth.

Volunteering is very Rewarding

Whether you volunteer to help find employment or as a social activity, you will find great satisfaction in helping others. If you have some free time and would like to be a volunteer or your group or club would benefit from having volunteer involvment, contact Dave Drumgoon on (01226) 736644.

Running Sports


Skills and Support for Sports Volunteers

runningsports is dedicated to providing skills and support for volunteers working in sport. From quick online tips and tools, to fun and informative workshops, runningsports will help you get more from yourself, your club⁄organisation and it's members.

running sports is all about supporting people like you. Volunteers working at local level - in clubs, teams or community organisations up and down the country.

You will find practical tools and helpful tips, best practice guides from other volunteers, downloadable resources for your use right here and now, and details on many other items in the runningsports portfolio like fun and informative workshops that you can participate in. All to help you get the skills you need and, in turn, the very most for your club or sports organisation.