Creating a diverse volunteer group
It’s important to have a management committee that is reflective of your membership and of the local community. It is not always easy to encourage people to volunteer from every group, but by actively encouraging input you will be a more inclusive venue.
The experience for all volunteers should be a positive one. You can create a welcoming environment for all by promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and this should also apply to your volunteer recruitment.
First it will be helpful to look at equality in the existing volunteers at your venue and compare with local population demographics. You can use our monitoring form to identify which groups are under-represented.
Prioritise and focus
Based on the monitoring prioritise which group(s) you might want to target i.e. women, younger people, Black and Minority Ethnic, people from different faiths, disabled people or lesbian gay bisexual and transgender people. If you decide to focus on women don’t forget women are a diverse group – different ages, race, faith, disabilities, sexual orientation or backgrounds.
Information and training for volunteers
Some people may be new to tennis, the club and/or the local area. Providing basic information including the layout of the club, rules and regulations and access to information about how to play tennis is important. If your volunteer co-ordinator or committee lack confidence or knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion issues, you can access information and online training through our Safeguarding page.
Contacting potential volunteers
You may know people in your membership who match the profile of the groups you want to target. You could try proactively approaching these people to talk about roles available and how you are keen to ensure the venue is inclusive. You can also contact local groups and arrange a meeting to discuss/promote tennis volunteering and playing opportunities.
You could also try attending community events to promote your venue.
Creating a welcoming venue
Ask new and existing volunteers if they have any individual needs that the club can help with i.e. can the club make reasonable adjustments to ensure a volunteer with disabilities has the best possible experience, or does the volunteer have any religious requirements i.e. prayer, storage of food, religious holidays or caring responsibilities.
New volunteers, especially those from diverse, non-tennis backgrounds need to feel supported and welcomed as part of the club. Introduce the new volunteer to other venue staff, volunteers and parents, and ensure they are fully integrated into meetings and social events.