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Supporting Volunteers

Once you have recruited new volunteers, you need to train and support them. And a good induction is a great way to kick things off. It ensures volunteers are able to contribute quickly and feel part of the club.

This simply means taking time to make sure the new volunteer:

  • knows other volunteers and officials in the club – introduce them personally
  • understands their specific volunteering role and what’s required – a volunteer role outline can help
  • knows where everything is – give them a thorough tour
  • understands the club’s values, policies and procedures – health and safety, risk assessments etc.
  • is clear about who they can go to if they have any questions or problems
  • has an opportunity to shadow other experienced volunteers
  • is aware of how to deal with complaints and areas of concern
  • knows what expenses they can claim.

A well-organised induction can provide volunteers with the support they initially require and can quickly make them feel comfortable in their role. It should not just be a tick box exercise of providing policies to read. Give this some thought as to how it should work in yourclub and you’re more likely to retain your volunteers for longer. 

The Wales Council for Voluntary Action has a useful information sheet on how to recruit, select and induct volunteers. Check it out!


Remember to Check-in with New Volunteers

After the initial induction, volunteers should be given the opportunity to try out the type of work they will be doing and be offered training, if required. Working closely with new volunteers, will help you to have a better picture of how they work, what support they will need, and what they are hoping to gain from the experience.

As a result, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with what training courses are available to your volunteers. Make sure you check in regularly with your national governing body and Local Authority sports department. Sport Wales may even be able to help cover the cost of training via their grants schemes. 

What Can Volunteers Expect?

A sports club has a number of rights and responsibilities, and therefore all volunteers have the right to:

  • know what is expected of them in line with the Give to Gain principles e.g. code of conduct and role descriptors
  • clearly specified lines of support and supervision
  • be shown appreciation
  • a safe environment
  • to know their rights
  • be paid expenses
  • be trained
  • be free from discrimination
  • be provided with opportunities for personal development

Meanwhile, organisations expect volunteers to:

  • be reliable
  • be honest
  • respect confidentiality
  • make the most of training and support opportunities
  • carry out tasks in a way that reflects the aims of the club
  • operate within the agreed guidelines and remit