One of the most common questions we’re asked at Rosterfy when traveling around the UK is our opinion on the ‘gaps’ in volunteering. What’s missing? Where are the shortcomings as we see them? The insights we glean from conversations with our clients and the data we see through our systems is that there are still plenty of holes in the industry in terms of reaching wider communities and engaging more diverse workforces in general. Another way to look at that, of course, is in what opportunities there are in front of us as an industry and what can we do to help fill those gaps, be them educational or socio-economically.
1. Increasing the knowledge of other volunteering opportunities
Ahead of the upcoming ‘Why Sports Conference’, which serves as a catalyst to increase activity across the UK, on the 18th September 2019 at The Royal Society of Medicine in London, these issues are once again, and rightly so, coming to the fore.
Increasing the knowledge of other volunteering opportunities is inextricably linked to closing the gaps that exist in the industry. Making people aware of what opportunities exist in communities often cut-off from such communications is key. Identifying how to do that will not only engage more people but make the outreach of those searching for workforces much more efficient.
We must look beyond the traditional means of communication and interact with a wide range of potential volunteering groups. Identifying the trigger that will then get them interested and keep them interested is, of course, the next challenge which I’m hoping we can challenge at the conference.
2. Volunteering closing the socio-economic gap in sport and activity
One of the best speakers on the topic is Jenny Betteridge, the Strategic Lead for Volunteering at Sport England. Jenny will be speaking at the conference on the 18th, specifically around the topic of closing that social-economic gap in youth social action, through sport. Her workshop presentation titled, ‘Missing in Action’ looks as some key areas, including:
- Looking at UK’s volunteering landscape and challenges, particularly considering socio-economic barriers
- Sharing Sport England and the #iwill Fund’s £3m partnership programme to bring together youth social action and sport
- Showing how sport and physical activity can be different and looking ahead to what can come next
I will be sure to attend as Jenny takes us through this pertinent issue. Volunteering is for everyone and the best results are when there is a real mix of people, sharing knowledge and learning from each others own experiences. This enriches the workforce pool and allows the volunteering landscape to flourish.