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Engaging volunteers

How can volunteer centres and the Council for Voluntary Services (CVSs) help organisations to recruit and support their volunteers?

Organisations in the physical activity and sport sector often rely on a core group of volunteers. Whilst lots of volunteers are very happy to help out, relying on the same group of people can sometimes lead to people feeling under-pressure, burnt-out or disillusioned.

From an organisation’s perspective it can also limit your capacity to grow. It’s important to think about who you can engage, and how you can encourage new people to want to be part of your volunteer team and make a difference in their local community.

Broadening your search to include members of the wider community can bring in fresh perspectives, skills, experiences and make your volunteer pool more diverse. Reaching out beyond your existing volunteers and membership can have a significant impact on your operations and growth.

If you're struggling for volunteers or looking to increase the capacity, skills and diversity of your volunteer team, local volunteer centres and CVSs can provide vital support.

Use the links below to make contact with yours and see how they can help you.

Find a volunteer centre Find your local CVS

More about Bexley

Bexley RFC had been struggling with playing numbers for a few seasons, which was impacting on their ability to encourage volunteers from within.

The club decided to take a fresh look at how they could attract new players and the support needed to drive this. While examining their options, they discovered that they did not have the skills or resources to do this within their existing volunteer base.

They approached their local Volunteer Centre for help and were met with willingness and enthusiasm. The centre provided useful insight into the current volunteering environment, and helped the club connect with local people with an interest in volunteering.

They also provided helpful advice on how to attract volunteers, and the resources and information available to help manage and safeguard volunteers’ physical and mental welfare.

The club learnt that there had been a growth in the number of people looking to give their time within local community settings since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result of engaging with their local Volunteer Centre, Bexley RFC have so far recruited four new volunteers.

Two are creative young people who have helped to create professional recruitment posters and handouts, as well as a short player recruitment video.

They have also gained the skills and experience of two young volunteer First Aiders.

We had never thought about finding volunteers from outside of the club before, but the support and guidance Bexley Volunteer Centre gave to us was brilliant. We now have several new volunteers helping us to achieve our goals - I wish we had reached out to them a lot sooner. (Club President, Bexley RFC)

I would encourage all sports clubs to reach out to their local CVS organisation. They are there to help, so get in touch to see how they can support with your volunteering needs. (Bexley Volunteer Centre)

Bexley RFC