The Join In blog: Tagged "community"

Join In passes the volunteering baton onto the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Hello from Sport and Recreation Alliance

Welcome to Sport and Recreation Alliance. As we take hold of the reins, we want to highlight our plans for Join In and share what volunteering means to us.

Volunteering is at the heart of sport and recreation in this country. Just last weekend I saw this first hand, very clearly in athletics.

On Saturday morning I, like 100s of 1000s of others, took part in my local parkrun, set up and managed by friendly enthusiastic volunteers always ready with a clap and a cheer on the 5km route. Later on Saturday I had the privilege of attending the England Athletics Annual Awards and Hall of Fame evening. Whilst the room was full of many very well known athletes, past and present, it was the stories of the volunteers that stood out the most. People who had dedicated their lives – in one case more than 60 years – to their sport. (more…)

Recent News

Rebecca Birkbeck introducing Join In's 'Making Time' research

Join In is changing

Four years ago, it was time to start making history. Now we’re ready for the next adventure.

Join In began life in a golden summer of sport. Following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we had a simple but incredibly ambitious goal: to create a volunteering legacy for the nation.

This was something that no previous Host City had ever achieved.

Honestly, we had no idea where this would take us. There was no guide. No blueprint. But inspired by the irrepressible energy of the London 2012 Games Makers, we had a good feeling.

And we realised something very important.

Following the London 2012 gold rush, our country was more in love with sport than ever. But it wasn’t just about medals and glory. (more…)

Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance
Lisa feels volunteering has improved her work/life balance

“Giving back had made me a better human being”

You probably haven’t given a second thought to how the athletes get from their accommodation to their venues during an Olympic or Paralympic Games. But one of our Legacy Volunteers, Lisa Blythman-Wood thinks of nothing else.

Following on from her time as a Games Maker at the Paralympic Games in London, Lisa is now volunteering in Rio. She has reprised her role with the Transport Team in the athlete’s village and is loving every minute of it.

“It has been another hot day in Rio with little or no breeze, if only this had remained the same for the whole day.

ji-legacy-vols-paras-2

(more…)

Why Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club is taking part in the nation's biggest sports day
Why Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club is taking part in the nation's biggest sports day

A London 2012 tennis legacy

Since setting up during London 2012, Cheslyn Hay Tennis Club has grown to over 200 people taking part every week. Here they talk about being open to all and how they are looking forward to I Am Team GB.

How important do you think the Olympic legacy has been for the club?

“The London 2012 Olympics inspired young people to take part in sport whatever their ability. There was a massive buzz four years ago and the legacy must continue. Now it is the role of community sports clubs around the country to take the lead and ensure young people continue playing sport. Through providing enjoyable and positive experiences it will hopefully leave them wanting to come back for more!

How has the club grown since then?

(more…)

Tanni Grey-Thompson lends a hand at her daughter's canoe club.

Tanni Grey-Thompson gets involved

She’s won 16 Paralympic medals and the London Marathon six times, been appointed Dame of the British Empire, and served in Parliament. Oh, and she also moonlights as a canoe club volunteer.

At Join In, we admire people who don’t just stand on the sidelines and talk a good game. We appreciate those who roll their sleeves up and make a difference. Paralympic hero Tanni-Grey Thompson has been doing just this by lending a hand at Lower Wharfe Canoe Club. We caught up with Tanni and fellow volunteer Chris Kevane to get an insight into some of their inspirational work.

The Lower Wharfe Canoe Club is a family orientated club, with a base at Tadcaster Community Swimming Pool and Bishopthorpe on the River Ouse. The club has members of all ages and abilities and teaches canoeing and kayaking all the way up to international level, with its most successful paddlers going on to compete for Team GB. (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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Eddie Izzard: Volunteering is good for everyone

Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard is Join In’s patron. In 2009, volunteers supported him in running 43 marathons in 51 days in aid of Sport Relief, and he became the official cheerleader of the Games Makers at London 2012.

Volunteers are the backbone of sport in the UK – without them, sport just wouldn’t be possible. Behind every sporting champion or grassroots sports club is an army of volunteers who have dedicated their time and efforts to sport.

Every Olympic, Paralympic and professional sports star started out at a local sports club or group. Any one of them will tell you how important volunteers are, and the vital role that they’ve played in their career.

(more…)

Add volunteer skills to your Join In club page

Is your club looking for helpers with specific knowledge or experience? Now you can add these volunteer skills to your Join In club page and find the perfect volunteer match.

There are loads of volunteers out there with a lot to give. Among them are those with experience doing exactly the things your club needs, such as bookkeeping, coaching, photography or – like the Man of (Stainless) Steel in our video – catering…

Volunteers will be able to search opportunities by the skills they offer, as well as location and sport. Once you’ve added skills to your club page, it will show in results that match their searches.

How to add volunteer skills to your club page

(more…)

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…)