Gethyn Williams

→ Head of Partnerships

Read all Gethyn’s articles below.

Let's get young people volunteering in local sport.

Giving NCS graduates a sporting chance

Right across England and Northern Ireland this summer, tens of thousands of young people are taking part in the National Citizen Service.

A personal and social development programme for 15-17 year olds, NCS is designed to help young people ‘make extraordinary friendships, learn the skills they don’t teach you in class and create unforgettable memories’↑.

Young people gain a great breadth of experience through NCS, which includes an element of volunteering. But though the three-week programme captures the immediate impact↑, both the graduates and organisations running NCS also have an eye on what happens next.


Recent News

Visit How-to – the one-stop resource for grassroots sports clubs and groups.

Share our How-to section in Volunteers’ Week

We’ve launched a free online resource to help grow sports clubs and groups. Check out our How-to for guides, top tips and expert advice.

We hope you’re all having a fantastic Volunteers’ Week↑ – the annual campaign that encourages all of us working with volunteers to take time out to thank them and recognise the amazing contribution they make.

Volunteers’ Week might turn 31 this year but doing recognition well is a timeless lesson. It’s one of the main learning points we took from London 2012; again and again Games Makers told us that a simple thank you is by far the best reward they could receive.


Give & Gain Day – just the beginning

Join In Local Leaders support employee volunteers with this year’s campaign from Business in the Community.

When it comes to business giving back, there’s nothing else out there quite like Give & Gain Day ↑. Business in the Community’s annual celebration of the power of employee volunteering started in 2008 and this year hopes to go even better than 2014, which saw more than 25,000 employees turn out to support 860 community organisations in 32 countries.

Join In is delighted to play a part in this global movement; helping businesses boost the wellbeing of their workforce, making a contribution to their local communities and measuring that impact is a big part of what we do, as explained on the BITC blog ↑ by our Commercial Director Kate Jacques. (more…)

The Hidden Diamonds report revealed the true value of volunteers in sport
The Hidden Diamonds report revealed the true value of volunteers in sport

Hidden Diamonds: What happened next?

Looking back on three months of activity since publication, we assess the impact of Join In’s Hidden Diamonds: Uncovering the true value of sport volunteers and it’s potential to reshape our view of volunteering.

Our research has been picked up widely within the sports industry, but it also provided a great backdrop to our December #BigThankYou campaign with BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Speaking in the House of Lords in December, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson used it to show her support for the value of volunteering:

The research report, Hidden Diamonds, found that each sports volunteer generates more than £16,000 of social value every year, which equates to a staggering £53 billion of social value when it is scaled up. These people should be praised, encouraged and thanked… without them, sport as we know it would not exist.”


Why valuing volunteering beyond cost matters

Should volunteering, like crack dealing and prostitution, be included in GDP? asked Lord Gus O’Donnell, Chair of Frontier Economics, as he spoke at the launch of Join In’s research into the true value of sport volunteers.

“The Office of National Statistics has just changed the way we define GDP, including illegal drug trading and prostitution. So the more crack dealing we have, the higher will our GDP growth rate be. Volunteering doesn’t appear in the GDP statistic at all. It doesn’t make any impact.”  –  Gus O’Donnell

At Join In we see the real impact made by sports volunteers everywhere we go. So we asked ourselves, what more we can do to get this value better recognised and resourced? (more…)

Volunteers' Week in Guernsey

Why we celebrate Volunteers’ Week all year round

I was in Guernsey last week for a family wedding, and was surprised (and delighted) to see the huge profile that Volunteers’ Week had on the island. There were posters everywhere, huge banners strung across the main shopping streets; even the front of the telephone directory was used as advertising space to encourage people to lend a hand.

30 years of Volunteers’ Week

This June, Volunteers’ Week celebrates its 30th birthday. That’s 30 years of encouraging voluntary groups to take time out to recognise, celebrate and thank their volunteers. It’s a key milestone in the volunteering calendar, and we think there are plenty of reasons why it needs more publicity:

Firstly, voluntary groups and campaigns like Join In are simply so reliant on their efforts – we owe it to our volunteers to acknowledge what they do and show our gratitude.

Secondly, many people couldn’t tell you what volunteering actually looks like. They need to see examples to relate it to their own lives and understand why it’s so important. This is a large part of what we at Join In do – sharing amazing stories of volunteering in community sport and inspiring over 100,000 people to get involved.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we need more people to know about the all-round value of volunteering – not only the benefits to volunteers, but also the benefits to those they help, and the wider communities. For us, that means community sports clubs, which sit at the heart of communities around the UK. (more…)