The Join In blog: Tagged "football"

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

Dawn, centre, runs Guildford Saints FC with a great team of volunteers and members
Dawn, centre, with the walking footballers.

“Why not make a difference?”

Like many grassroots clubs across the UK, Guildford Saints FC wouldn’t survive without volunteers. But they do, thanks to having their very own saint, Dawn Davies: coach, director, mother, grandmother, administrator and BBC Unsung Hero award winner.

Why did you start volunteering?

My son started playing football at Guildford Saints FC aged 6. I felt it was a very well run club, well supported with lots of members. When the committee asked for more volunteers, I didn’t hesitate to put my hand up and say “I can do that!”. (more…)

Judith helped thousands of people to see the trophy this year.
Judith helped thousands of people to see the trophy this year.

Behind the scenes at the Champions League Final

Football fan Judith Gunion has volunteered at three UEFA Champions League finals. She shares a behind-the-scenes peek from this year’s final in Milan.

Day 1

“This is my third Champions League Final since I started in London in 2013. Last year was my first foreign sojourn with UEFA when I was accepted as a volunteer for the Berlin final in 2015. And this year, so determined was I to be accepted that I started learning Italian in night classes so I could honestly say on the application that I had basic Italian.


Judith with her fellow volunteers at the 2015 Champions League final. (more…)

Football for everyone with the Skem Men-Aces.

An unsung hero’s tale

Having grown up with spina bifida, Carl Eaton is no stranger to tough times; but the uncompromising love of his parents helped him persevere and inspired him to give something back to his community.

Today, he spends much of his spare time coaching Skem Men-Aces FC, a Skelmersdale-based disability football team. Here’s Carl’s story in his own words…

“I was born in 1962 with a condition known as spina bifida. The doctors advised my parents to leave me in the care of the hospital and start another family; but my mam and dad were fuelled with the exhilaration of their firstborn. The sheer love for each other meant they would never agree with the so-called professionals and they took me home.

The next 12 months gave Mam and Dad huge challenges, and then came son number two. When our Harry was born, he was thought to be in good health, but as the months progressed, it began to show that he had problems. They soon discovered that our Harry had learning disabilities.

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…)

Meet Arsenal’s secret weapon

Arsenal Football Club. Famous for their slick passing and fast-paced approach. Over the years, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Alexis Sanchez have torn opposition teams apart. But Arsenal’s unsung hero is Head Groundsman, Reece Watson.

Reece ensures every blade of grass is primed for Arsenal’s attacking style of football. And ahead of the FA Cup final, he has given us an exclusive look at what it takes to be a Premier League groundsman.



Finding funding the Jubilee way

When it comes to growing a healthy club, it helps to be resourceful. That is certainly the way at Jubilee 77 Youth Football Club.

Jubilee 77 Youth Football Club has been running for almost 40 years. Those in charge work hard to give their members the best experience possible; but just like many others, the Hampshire-based club struggles with the amount of time and money it takes to run a club.

Club Chairman Dean Scopes explains how the club meets and overcomes these challenges.

The right volunteer support

“We are a small club with big ambitions. We make sure our young players not only enjoy their time with us, but are also given the best coaching and opportunities available.

The support from our members is fantastic, and we’re learning what works and where we can expand along the way. But it’s challenging and a lot of our activity is limited either by financial or volunteer support. (more…)

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.”


Join In Local Leaders give clubs a Big Thank You

In the build up to the Big Thank You with Get Inspired and Join In, some of our Local Leaders have been busy thanking volunteers around the country for the time they give to sport clubs in their communities.

Brighton and Hove City Athletics Club

The youngsters of Brighton and Hove City Athletics Club owe their enjoyment of their sport to Richard Carter and his team of volunteers.

The Brighton and Hove City Athletics Club Thank You Visit (more…)

Volunteer match: How Ian Wright helped a football club to grow

It’s not every day a local football club has its coaching problems solved by Ian Wright, but that’s exactly what happened at Jubilee 77.

Chairman Dean Scopes knew he needed to develop a steady stream of players for the club to survive, and to start new teams for the youngest age groups to do it. “The problem was who can run them?” he said.

“You need parents to run a team but without players, you have no parents. Our existing coaches were already busy with their own teams. You need to start somewhere!”

Management of the club in Fareham, Hampshire, had agreed to spend some funds on coaching help, but this was a big financial commitment for only a temporary solution. The club needed to secure its long-term future.

As Dean sat down to watch a pre-World Cup match in June, one of his favourite ex-footballers gave him the answer.

Jubilee 77 Youth Football Club found two key volunteers with Join In

Jubilee 77 YFC has more than 10 teams for eight different age groups