Recruiting new volunteers
A volunteer is someone who gives their time for free (other than out-of-pocket expenses) to help people or a good cause. Some volunteers take on skilled roles while others take on a few tasks from home or the venue. Getting the right people in the right role and supporting them is the recipe for success.
As a starting point, it is recommended that each club or venue appoints a Volunteer Co-ordinator to recruit, support and oversee volunteers. The Volunteer Co-ordinator can take on the responsibilities of supporting existing volunteers and planning for the future.
Identifying volunteer roles
Don’t leave it until the AGM to back-fill roles. Have an informal conversation with existing volunteers about how long they are willing to be involved and if they might stay on for longer if supported. When a volunteer decides to leave a role, ask if they can assist with a handover or shadowing period for the incoming volunteer. Don't forget to identify what the role involves, what skills are needed and the time commitment.
Access volunteer role descriptions.
Identifying potential volunteers
Volunteers often come from within your membership. Have you approached the parents or carers of your junior members? Why not put a poster up at the clubhouse or distribute at Mini Tennis or junior sessions.
Approaching Mini Tennis parents is a good start as many volunteers sign up when their child begins playing. It’s a good idea to have these posters on display at club open days or Great British Tennis Weekend events.
Young people under 25 can offer great support, especially if they have been on a Tennis Leaders training course. You should familiarise yourself with some of the legal issues surrounding their involvement, such as regulations on the amount of time they volunteer.
Access volunteer regulations.
For more information on safe and inclusive recruiting of volunteers, see the Safe and Inclusive toolkit.
How to advertise volunteer roles
Try signing up to the volunteer charity the Do-it Trust to advertise for new volunteers for free. You can also put a poster up at the local college/university, community and faith venues. Many people, including students, are looking for work experience opportunities and can be helpful on competition days or for website/social media support. You may find willing volunteers in the local community who have the right skills you are looking for, so advertise your needs so they can find you.
Please do not charge new people a membership fee for the opportunity to volunteer! If someone approaches your venue to volunteer their time and expertise for free, this is worth much more to you than a membership fee.
Providing support for volunteers
Consider a buddy or mentor scheme for new joiners – can another volunteer on the committee support them or link them up to someone doing a similar role at another club in the county? Remember to organise any necessary training, workshops or safeguarding checks to ensure you have the right person in the role. Children and young people can also mentor each other, for further guidance please read the Safe and Inclusive toolkit.