The Join In blog: Category "Local Leaders"

Just some of the army of volunteers at the kitting out. Our author Aileen is third from left.
Just some of the army of volunteers at the kitting out. Our author Aileen is third from left.

Behind the scenes at the Team GB Rio 2016 kitting out – Part 2

Continuing our peek behind the scenes of the Team GB Rio 2016 kitting out in Birmingham, Aileen Cronin shares her volunteering experience.

Part 1  |  Part 2 

Day one as a volunteer

I didn’t know what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed. The training the day before set the scene, and it was clear how important the kitting out was by the amount of planning that had taken place. (more…)

Recent News

Helen, right, was the Results Announcer at the Aquatics Centre.
Helen, right, was the Results Announcer at the Aquatics Centre.

Lending a hand (and a voice) at the European Aquatics Championships

The 2016 European Aquatics Championships have taken place this week at London’s iconic Aquatics Centre, where Europe’s best swimmers, divers and synchro swimmers are competing for the coveted title of European champion.

We go behind the scenes to meet Join in Local Leaders Helen Seamer and Jo Bartholomew – and find out about their experience of volunteering at such a major event.

One of approximately 140 volunteers, Helen was asked to help out as results announcer at the synchronised swimming event, having gained some experience in the role at national level. “It was a great opportunity to be involved in sports presentation at the next level” says Helen. “I now have a whole new perspective on how a major event is presented to a live audience and learned such a lot from the professionals on the crew.

I had a clear view of all the action from my poolside seat and it was fantastic to see what is happening at the top of the sport – with the world champions Russia there to defend their European titles. It was also exciting to see the British team in action, including the duet of Olivia Federici and Katie Clark who have secured a quota place for Rio. They must have been thrilled with the reaction from the hugely supportive audience!” (more…)

Fuelling local sport in one London community.

Herne Hill community of sport

Herne Hill in southeast London is one of the most physically active areas in London, where sport is thriving. It takes the dedication of hundreds of volunteers to create such an active, healthy and connected community.

Herne Hill Harriers is a community running club that prides itself on being inclusive and welcoming. They set up a Join In page in 2015 and have attracted more than 10 new local volunteers since then. “We’ve had some great volunteers come through from Join In,” Barbara, the Club Secretary said.

One such local volunteer is Sarah, who lives very close to Tooting Bec, the club’s main training ground. She volunteered at the Cerebral Palsy World Games as an athlete marshal and in the call out room. After that, she was interested in officiating and getting involved regularly at a local club, so she searched for opportunities on the Join In website and found the Herne Hill Harriers.


Mags has been a long time supporter of Join In - here she's helping out at the Tour de ITV in 2014
Mags has been a long time supporter of Join In - here she's helping out at the Tour de ITV in 2014

Local Leader Spotlight: Mags Mathieson

Name: Mags Mathieson

Network: Northern Ireland

Local Leader since: 2013

What have you been up to recently in your role as a Local Leader?

“Having been a regular volunteer in the Northern Ireland running community for the past three or four years, I am now trying to combine volunteering with my recent role as a Local Leader and also raise the profile of Join In here in Northern Ireland.

I help out at a local parkrun most Saturdays. If I’m not doing that, I’ll be helping out at some other running event that’s taking place. Volunteering for so long in one particular area of sport (running) has allowed me to develop a great deal of experience and knowledge and I find that I’m asked more and more often to come along and help out with local races, many of them for charity. In the past few weeks I’ve been involved in a dozen or so events but the highlight was being asked to take on the role of Race Director for a 10k charity run. I’ve also been involved in some of the bigger running events here including the NI Road Relay Championships, the Bangor 10k and the Belfast Half Marathon. (more…)

Clive Barley, Local Leader and #BigHelpOut speech bubble technician.

Local Leader profile – Clive Barley

Marshalling, timekeeping, barcode scanning, social media, and assisting with grant applications… It’s hard to know how Clive Barley finds the time for all this volunteering. Like all our Local Leaders, he somehow finds a way.

What have you been up to recently in your role as a Local Leader?

In addition to promoting Join In whenever and wherever I can through social media and my normal face-to-face networks, I have focused on building stronger working relationships with our local sports development officers and the Lancashire Sports Partnership↑.

We are discussing how we can increase the number of Join In Local Leaders in Lancashire and how we work together in partnership to share volunteering opportunities and encourage more volunteers. The Big Help Out campaign has been fun, generating lots of opportunities for photos with the speech bubble. It created quite a buzz and lots of interest in volunteering across social media. (more…)

Our year in pictures.

Our favourite photos from 2015

Here at Join In, we’re lucky to receive photos of our volunteers on a regular basis. Over the course of this year, we’ve worked with a handful of professional photographers and also received loads of pics taken by just about everyone with a smartphone.

Here are our favourite photos of the year. Look closely to see if you can spot anyone you know!

Join_InBGD-64 (more…)

Find out how volunteering in sport reduces stress & builds communities

Volunteering. The key to a healthier, happier you

You don’t have to be sporty to get fit.  Volunteering can improve your health and well being – it’s official!  Make friends and make a difference to your physical and mental health and to your community.

‘Get fit’, ‘do more for myself’, ‘do something for charity’, ‘get a new hobby’ – we’re sure a few of these mantras have passed your lips at the start of a year, but how many have you stuck to? Volunteering in sport is the perfect way to get fit and active whilst helping others. The sense of teamwork and emotional satisfaction will keep you coming back for more.


Join In's Top 10 blogs of 2015
What were your highlights from a great year in volunteering?

Join In’s top 10 blogs of 2015

In 2015, our blog covered everything from korfball to blind golf. We bring it to a close with some of our favourite blogs from the past twelve months.

10. Fat boy Slimmer

Ben Fairburn once weighed twenty-three stone, now he weighs fifteen. Ben wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without the help of volunteers. Here is his inspirational story:

Fat Boy Slimmer

The transformation of Ben before and after running is remarkable. (more…)

Clubs need your skills.

The volunteering professionals part II

People’s work skills can be hugely beneficial to sports clubs. In the second part of our volunteering professionals blog, we see how three BT employees raise funds and balance the books.

Part 1 | Part 2

Anthony, accountant


Full name: Anthony Raisbury
Day job:
Former Management Accountant and now Sales Account Manager

Volunteers at: Welford Mixed Hockey Club (more…)

Pete Swann, left, outside Intersport Herne Hill with Join In Local Leader Malcolm Chevin
Pete Swann, left, outside Intersport Herne Hill with Join In Local Leader Malcolm Chevin

60 seconds with… Pete Swann

Pete Swann, Intersport Herne Hill↑ store manager, already has some great links to grassroots sport in his area. He’s been chatting to Join In to tell us why he thinks the partnership can connect his store even more with the community.

How is your store at the heart of community sport?

“We deal with many clubs, schools and local associations in different forms. The club members can often be customers and our network has grown organically that way. We sponsor lots of events – usually with a prize to help alleviate the cost of running the event or to raise money for a good cause. From a local 5K run to the Sport Relief Mile↑, we like to get involved with the local area.

How would you like to play a bigger role in the local community?

I think companies have a duty to support local events – sport has much more of a community feel than other retail sectors and that is why we work a lot with the local sporting people. If we can act as a hub for the community then it is mutually beneficial.