Author - Rob Wallis,
24 Apr 2014

Following the completion of the Sport Makers programme, many CSPs have reviewed their current practice and are now planning future work to increase support for sports volunteers. As a result of our role in the success of Sport Makers, our ongoing work with CSPs in this area and as advocates for sports volunteers, we were well placed to help delegates look forward and consider the role their organisations could play in supporting volunteers and increasing their impact on participation.

Key areas discussed included:

  • Existing and future funding for sports volunteering.
  • The current context for volunteering, including ideas for CSPs to link sports volunteering to wider opportunities such as youth social action and those provided by the National Citizen Service, the Department for Work and Pensions’ Work Programme and Join In.
  • Sharing of learning, innovation and good practice.
  • Reflection on where CSPs are with their current volunteering offer and how they might shape longer term sports volunteering priorities and plans.

The workshop provoked some useful debate, not least on the challenge CSPs face in providing future resources for volunteering. Post-Sport Makers, CSPs have continued to maintain momentum for volunteering through additional investment received from Sport England, which seems mostly to have been used for staffing capacity. However, other work areas have included communications to retain existing volunteers, bursary schemes to recruit new volunteers, strategic consultation work and support for local events to recruit volunteers. However, with this funding to be spent by the end of the first quarter, there was uncertainty over how some of these work areas will continue.

Emerging themes included:

  • Strategic approach - identifying how sports volunteering can and will be embedded in future plans.
  • IT system - central to an effective volunteer programme, with VolunteerWeb appearing to be the preferable option (CSPN have confirmed the system will remain in place).
  • Umbrella brand - creating a sports volunteering brand for CSPs and partners (specific customer-facing recruitment, deployment and training programmes can then sit below).
  • Embedded volunteering - critical to embed volunteering across CSP and partner programmes.
  • Volunteering networks - Setting up and coordinating strategic volunteering networks to promote the contribution sports volunteering can make to local communities.
  • Communication - Critical to retaining volunteers by keeping them engaged.

Find about Press Red’s previous work in sports volunteering:
Sport Makers - creating 40,000 sports volunteers across the country

View the slides used during the workshop:

Press Red Workshop @ CSPN Convention 2014 on CSPs and Volunteering from Press Red