Volunteers play a key role in the successful delivery of any Community Games. Many organisers will not have the capacity to organise and host events without additional help and support, particularly when delivering the event on the day. Volunteers can bring a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm to your event. Most people will volunteer because they want to make a difference and contribute to their local community. Your Community Games can give the volunteers this opportunity.
- How many volunteers do you need?
- Do any of your jobs require specific skills or qualifications?
- How many hours will they need to be available?
- Do you need to train your volunteers in any way?
- Will your volunteers be distinguishable from competitors/spectators? If not, how could you do this?
A large number of people volunteer because they were asked to volunteer. Generally people like to help out and as this event is for them and their community you may find that the number of people willing to volunteer is high. Ask around for those who might be able to offer some time to the event. Try not to take on too much yourself as you will be needed to organise and manage the events. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What experience will the volunteers have?
- Which jobs would be most suitable for volunteers?
- How will you recruit and communicate with your volunteers?
- How will volunteers be supported/supervised on the day?
Volunteers get involved for many different reasons, and you should try to get a feel for why they want to volunteer. Some may just want to help out, but others may be looking specifically to work with young people for example, or to gain or use certain skills. This should be encouraged as the ethos behind volunteering is integral to the success of Community Games. Offering interesting, enjoyable tasks which are clearly beneficial to all those involved will aid in your recruitment.
Ensure you have given yourself plenty of time to recruit staff and volunteers for your event, because finding volunteers can sometimes be a challenge. Also, it is unlikely that every confirmed volunteer will attend on the day, therefore the number of volunteers you are looking to recruit should slightly higher than the actual number you require to ensure that all key roles will be filled on the day, regardless of any drop-outs.
There are, however, many recruitment opportunities and places to go for advice and support.
- Volunteer centres
Volunteer centres are locally based charities that may help you to find volunteers – find out more at www.volunteering.org.uk
- V Inspired
www.vinspired.com is another useful website to visit. An arm of this website – Vinvolved – is dedicated to getting young people more involved in their local communities.
www.connexions-direct.com - This is an information and advice resource for young people. Contacting your local branch may be a good idea as the young people involved may be enthusiastic and willing to help you with your Community Games. They may also have links to a local youth forum in your area, where people can start to discuss the events and how they could help.
Disability Discrimination Act
This act promotes civil rights for disabled people and also protects them from discrimination. Take this into account when recruiting volunteers as Community Games events should be completely inclusive when it comes to both potential participants and volunteers. Encourage those with disabilities to volunteer at your Community Games. Further information is available at www.direct.gov.uk.