Swim England

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Volunteer development in the North West

Swim England News

As part of Volunteers’ Week 2017 we are highlighting some of our successful young volunteer programmes.

We want to show the opportunities that are available, as well as the great work of the regions and the young people themselves. Our second article is about the Young Volunteer Programme in the North West region.

The North West Young Volunteer Programme

The Young Volunteer Programme in the North West has been growing over the last couple of years. Since March 2016, the programme has expanded from 170 to 295 young people. And it just keeps growing. The 11 club networks involved are recruiting second and third cohorts of young volunteers every year.

The programme focuses on continual volunteer development. It offers access to four courses in the first 12 months. These are ‘First Steps into Coaching’, ‘Young Aquatic Helper’, ‘Young Aquatic Leader’ and ‘Timekeeper’ courses.

All volunteers are also given the opportunity to volunteer at events, attend development days and support local initiatives. These include things like stroke clinics.

After hosting and delivering a Young Volunteers Development Day, Lancashire Volunteers Coordinator Carolyn Dawe said: “The Young Volunteer Development Day provided a chance to raise awareness of the wide range of roles available to young volunteers at events.

“The day was a great success with the volunteers engaging in all of the activities. We have already had a number of enquiries to volunteer at events across the region this year. It is great to be inspiring the next generation.”

Opportunities leading on from the Young Volunteer Programme

Once the volunteers have had some experience and training, there are loads of opportunities available. Many of the volunteers over the last 12 months have attended major events. These included the British Para-Swimming International Meet, Cerebral Palsy Sport galas and county and regional competitions.

Thirty-three young volunteers attended the events mentioned above. A further 20 assisted the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) at the National Para-Swimming Championships in Manchester in December 2016.

There has been a lot of support from the County Sports Partnerships over the last two years. This has helped to underpin the programme in the Merseyside and Cheshire area and seen financial support for those young volunteers wanting to further their career in aquatics with a qualification.

Congratulations to all of the young volunteers who were a part of these programmes, and thank you to all those young people dedicated their time as volunteers within aquatics.

If you are a young person and would like to get more involved as a young volunteer, please get in touch with your local Swim England region to find out more or contact [email protected].