Volunteering in local sport has the power to create healthier, happier people and stronger communities

Join In is the national brand for local sports volunteering.

  • Supporting the sports clubs and groups who need volunteers most.
  • Promoting brilliant opportunities for people to volunteer in their local communities and at flagship sporting events.
  • Recognising the huge social value created by volunteers through our campaigns.

How we (all) win

Our research shows that volunteering in sport is good for all of us:


People who volunteer in sport “win” – as sharing our time (and experience) makes us happier, gives us more self-esteem, sense of purpose and helps us learn new skills and make friendships.


Local sport wins. Almost all grassroots clubs and activity groups rely on volunteers, and 7 out of 10 currently need more people to help out. Each new volunteer makes a huge difference – typically giving a club the capacity to welcome 8.5 more members.


Our communities win by enabling people to find ways to play sport and live more active, healthier lives. Volunteers also care about their local areas – they are more likely to feel pride, invest their time, and build trust in communities.

Who we are

Join In is part of the Sport and Recreation Alliance. The Sport and Recreation Alliance are leading a group of partners that will continue to build on the legacy of sports volunteering.

These partners include volunteering opportunity finder Do-it.org, social enterprise leisure operator GLL, wellbeing insight agency Jump, volunteer management system VolunteerKinetic and volunteering charity Volunteering Matters.

Our shared vision

We aspire towards a nation of active people joining in their local communities.

Our aim is to put more volunteers into community sport. Volunteers help more people get active and we recognise the huge value they contribute to a happier, healthier nation.

How we make a difference

Through our campaigns and on our free online opportunity finder, Join In matches people to volunteering opportunities at clubs in their area.

2016 saw the launch of Join In’s How-to section of our website, providing tools and tips for sports volunteers. In 2015, we were busy Backing Up Boxing, Helping Out Hockey and leading the #BigHelpOut with BBC Get Inspired.

In late 2014, we carried out pioneering research into the social and economic value of sports volunteers. Our findings showed that a single volunteer in sport creates a ‘wellbeing value’ worth over £16,000, for themselves and for those they help get active.

Our #BigThankYou campaign at BBC Sports Personality of the Year is the largest celebration of sport and recreation volunteers in the UK, with some of the nation’s favourite sporting stars surprising volunteers with thank you from the red carpet.

Our unique network

At the heart of our volunteer community is a unique network of Join In Ambassadors. Spread across the UK, these super volunteers help us find and support new volunteers on the ground, and connect them with local sports and fitness groups.

As well as sharing thousands of opportunities to help out locally, Join In also promotes volunteering opportunities on the world stage. From the Commonwealth Games to the Tour de France, we are the UK’s go-to organisation for sports volunteers.

Olympic and Paralympic legacy

Join In is a London 2012 legacy programme. We began in the golden summer of 2012, and many of our Local Leader volunteers are former London 2012 Games Makers. They still have the purple t-shirts to prove it.

Join In was subsequently funded by government grant and funding partner BT until 2016.

Following summer 2016 – and marking a full and successful Olympic and Paralympic cycle – the Join In Trust selected the Sport and Recreation Alliance to lead a consortium of partners to manage and grow the Join In brand.

“Volunteering is fundamental to sport at all levels – without volunteers there would simply be no sport. That’s why investing in volunteers and their experience is so vital.”

Emma Boggis,
CEO, Sport and Recreation Alliance