The Join In blog: Tagged "case studies"

The local team

Kent FA says a Big Thank You

Helen Seamer, a volunteer with Join In, has been working very closely with the Kent FA supporting their campaign to thank their volunteers and to encourage new volunteers to get involved. Helen met with some of the inspiring young people involved in football in Kent and has written a blog to share her experience and inspire others.


Recent News

Join In helps football fan become coach

Have you always wanted to be a football coach but not known how to get involved? Do you want to give back to sport but don’t know who to contact?

Dan Hart was one of these passionate sportspeople who didn’t know how simple it could be to volunteer. But once Dan looked at the Join In website, he found Kingswood Falcons FC, who needed an under 10s coach.

Dan said, “I’ve always liked playing football. I’ve got a friend who went into youth coaching and was offered a job at Chelsea. When you stop playing you want to give something back. So instead of talking about it, this motivated me to do something”.

After hearing enough of Dan talking about football, his fiancée showed him the Join In website. So Dan decided to get in contact and that same day he received a call from Club Secretary, Denis Hassett. From that point onwards Dan was hooked on volunteering.

“I would champion volunteering every time. I don’t think people know they can just do it. I didn’t know the first thing about it.”


The Ring Leader: Dean Preston and the North Shields School of Boxing

Boxing is in Dean Preston’s blood. Having grown up with the sport, he now gives his all so that others can get involved. Dean talked to Join In about what boxing means to the young people he coaches, and about how volunteers are the driving force behind North Shields School of Boxing – the club he’s worked tirelessly to grow.

Dean started boxing when he was nine. As he puts it, “I grew up in a boxing family.” His dad was a coach; his uncles were professional boxers. Dean believes his involvement in the sport helped shape his success in life. “I’ve got a good career within BT, and I’ve got a sensible head on my shoulders. But I lived in an area in Doncaster where there was a high crime rate. A lot of people I grew up with took the wrong path and I think boxing gave me that discipline, that focus, and it put me on the right path.”

He stopped boxing when he was 17 and spent some time away from the sport, but two years ago he started coaching and volunteering at North Shields School of Boxing. (more…)

“I really feel like our shared love for the game encouraged a closer relationship.”

As the nation celebrates Mothering Sunday this weekend, Join In looks at three amazing mum’s who give up their time to inspire sport within their community.

Karen and Anne

Karen volunteers with her mum Anne, 73 (both pictured above) at the Bognor Regis parkrun, a weekly volunteer led 5km run.

Karen and her husband both take part in the run but supermum Anne is up at 9am every Saturday morning – rain or shine – to volunteer.

Karen thinks their involvement with parkrun provides the family with a bond that they don’t get from other activities, “Although we do many things together, this has enriched us all. My husband and I often run at the event. When I don’t go she still goes with him to support and volunteers, looking after the kit etc.” (more…)

How-to covers volunteering, promotion and management for clubs and groups.
How-to covers volunteering, promotion and management for clubs and groups.

How-to – your grassroots resource


We’re launching How-to – a simple, free, online resource that will help grow grassroots sports clubs and groups across the country.

Recently, we asked community sports groups across the UK what they wanted to help build their clubs. The response? How-to – a unique resource that provides how-to guides, advice, hints and practical tips from clubs, for clubs!

From finding new volunteers and promoting your club to managing club finances, How-to has it covered. You can also find additional support from Sport England’s Club Matters↑ – a one stop shop for sports clubs. Club Matters provides free, convenient, practical resources to help you develop and run a sustainable club.

Join In’s CEO Rebecca Birkbeck said, “We work with thousands of grassroots sports groups every day, but it’s the volunteers within the clubs who are donating their time and building the clubs from within. We wanted to showcase these remarkable volunteers and use their success stories to inspire others looking for first hand advice and ideas.”

Find volunteers icon

How to find and manage volunteers

Boost your volunteer workforce and help your club to grow.


Hidden diamonds: Uncovering the true value of sport volunteers

Join In has released ground-breaking research into the hidden value of sport volunteers, going beyond cost to measure the true value they create – through participation, wellbeing, trust and community.

Going beyond traditional valuation methods which use the cost-replacement model, we investigated the true value of sports volunteering to personal wellbeing and happiness of the volunteers themselves, plus the wider benefit to their communities.  

Below is our revealing report into this hidden value.


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…)

Sophie Christiansen: Volunteers helped me to gold

Triple Paralympic gold medallist Sophie Christiansen blogs about South Bucks Riding for the Disabled Association Group and the importance of volunteers in disabled sport.

“I started riding when I was six for physiotherapy.  Riding really changed my life, and it can really change the lives of the young riders here.  Riding a horse can improve your confidence, balance, coordination, self-belief and control.



Introducing Local Leader David Little

David Little has a simple explanation for his serial volunteering. “I’m a retired PE teacher and volunteering comes hand in hand with a love of sport.”

Like many Local Leaders, David (pictured below far right) has a long and distinguished history of volunteering, not just in the UK but also overseas. A part of Join In Dorset, we’re proud to have such an indefatigable and experienced individual as a part of our new UK network of sport volunteers.


The purpose of Local Leaders volunteers is to provide tangible volunteering support to sports clubs in local communities across the UK. Despite retiring David has no plans to stop volunteering.

“I volunteer because I like to be involved with sport and now I am retired I have more time – the opportunity is there,” he says. “You cannot force people to volunteer, they either will have to drive to do so or they won’t. You don’t tend to be paid if you get involved with sport outside of a school environment.” (more…)

Introducing Local Leader Jill Hedgecock

For most people the ideal vision of retirement involves putting your feet up in peaceful surroundings while sipping a drink. We’re not certain if retiree Jill Hedgecock (below left) has the time or inclination to enjoy this kind of activity – this serial volunteer seems far too busy maintaining a volunteer schedule that stretches back over 40 years.

Her recent decision to become a Join In Local Leader means that our new, UK-wide volunteering network will benefit from her enthusiasm, know-how and dedication to inspire kids to remain active and healthy.


Her motivation hasn’t wavered over the years. Jill still volunteers because she likes to put back into society and feels strongly that others did the same for her. She also recognises that there is a genuine need for local volunteers in local communities and believes that we should encourage children to get out and play sport (she also teaches swimming – her favourite sport) and take part in activities and clubs. (more…)