Your County needs a Volunteer Co-ordinator. Here's how you can make it happen!
We wish to thank all our volunteers and officials for supporting their Clubs and our 2020 County Championships which were held over 19/25/26 Jan & 1/2/8/9 Feb 2020 at Millfield.
Your Club and County really appreciate all offers to help! As a volunteer your contribution to our sport is vital to us.
Our goal, which is aligned to Swim England’s objective of improving the skills and technical capabilities of the aquatics workforce and its ability to innovate, is for the County to have a skilled and sustainable workforce of volunteers who enjoy, feel proud and are recognised for their achievements. So your County makes every effort possible to help you to assist us, without giving more than your time, to ensure our future sucess.
Sports like swimming rely on the skills, knowledge and commitment of its volunteers. When you become a volunteer, you will make a crucial difference to the aquatics community as well as find it a hugely rewarding experience. And it doesn’t matter how old you are or how much experience you have – there are roles at clubs and events for everyone.
Claire Coleman, Swim England’s head of volunteering, said: “Volunteering is for everyone, regardless of how much you know about aquatics. We encourage anyone to get involved no matter what your age or level of experience. Clubs will be grateful for help you can offer, no matter how little or how much time you can contribute. Volunteering can help you learn new skills and qualifications, put existing skills to good use and help make a difference. And it’s also a wonderful opportunity to make new friends and have some fun.”
To celebrate #VolunteersWeek, Swim England CEO Jane Nickerson sent the above message to all volunteers, officials and parents who are helping athletes through the most challenging moment of their careers.
Volunteer Co-ordinators across the South West attended the launch of the Volunteer Network Support Package and Development Morning on 8 Sept 2019 in Taunton. Everyone who attended will benefit from access to Swim England's new resource pack for Volunteer Coordinators.
Swim England is looking to provide support for Volunteer Co-ordinators in the following ways:
- The development of the Volunteer Coordinator starter pack
- The development of a regionally based session for Volunteer Coordinators
- Peer to Peer Networking
- Club wide workshop on the Volunteer Experience
- Accessible recognition resources
Event Volunteer Hub
Visit the new hub jointly launched by Swim England, British Swimming, Scottish Swimming and Swim Wales to raise awareness of major event volunteering in aquatics. It details everything from the roles available, the benefits of getting involved and the types of skills that can be gained. Click on the pointing finger icon (top right) on each of the three interactive images below to reveal more information on each role.
Management Team Roles
Team Members Roles
Register your interest as an Event Volunteer.
The Swim England South West Club Development Committee has been trialing Volunteer Development Days. Cornwall and Dorset have organised and run successful days and Somerset is looking to run something soon. Topics at the Dorset Development day covered Funding, Young Volunteer Workshop, Safeguarding, Running a club, Governance, Time to Listen and Team Managing. Around 20 people attended each individual workshop which were very well received.
Swim England South West Youth Advisory Panel - Call for Applications
The Region is looking for a keen group of six to eight young volunteers between the ages of 15-20 who are prepared to speak out about key issues or ideas they might have about their sport, volunteering or their club. The key purpose of this panel is to bring together young people from different aquatic disciplines and backgrounds to provide a youth voice for the South West Region. View further info including how to apply.
President Kelly Podbury paid tribute to the value of Volunteers when she visited Weston-super-Mare Swimming Club in November 2020 to present Somerset ASA Young Volunteer winner, Angharad Laraman (pic). View report.
We provide lots of opportunities to develop the skills of Young Volunteers who benefit greatly from their experiences and mentoring.
Past Programmes have given wide recognition of our Young Volunteers' achievements and seen a boost to cv's for young people embarking on future careers.
The 2020/21 Young Volunteer programme is aimed at 14 to 18 year olds. It will have a different look for this coming year and aim to keep those athletes who may have thought about not returning to training involved in their club along with those who may have limited training availability. All workshops will be hosted online with club based project work. Swim England South West has just extended the deadline for applications to 14 November 2020. Please contact Jackie Hilleard (email@example.com) if you need further information or application forms.
Nicky Taylor co-ordinated the Swim England South West Young Volunteers Programme in Somerset aimed at 15* to 25 year old YVs from clubs (* aged 15 in school year), It intended to support the personal development of 22 Young Volunteers from September 2019 until the end of July 2020. 25 hours of volunteering and a log book will need to be completed by end of July 2020.
- details announcing the 2019/20 Programme in support of your Club and networks.
- courses, event and funding opportunities in 2020 which we asked Clubs to share with young people, members and in Club networks
Our 2018-19 Young Volunteers hope to emulate their 2017-18 YVs who are ready inspiring colleagues with their enthusiasm and to their Clubs for providing opportunities to develop their skills.
Somerset Young Volunteer of the Year
The Sarah Pusill Young Volunteer Award was introduced by our Past President as a way of rewarding talented and enthusiastic young volunteers from around the County. The perpetual trophy will be held by the winner for a year. Thank you for telling us who you felt deserves to be recognised for their volunteer work, on poolside or behind the scenes in your Club. There were lots of nominations by the 30 June closing date.
We announced the 2018/19 winners at our AGM and publicised their value during Volunteers' Week. View our 2017/18 award winners at our AGM on 26 May 2018.
Each month we encourage you to nominate a club member for Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month. Recognition of the invaluable work carried out by volunteers of all ages is crucial to retention.
We are delighted that the achievements of Club and County volunteers have frequently received wider recognition:
- Karen Bowen (see video) of Team Bath AS was Swim England's Volunteer of the Year for 2017! Sue Dors and Paul Robbins of Swim England South West presented Karen with a bouquet at the Team Bath AS Meet on November.
- Nikki Hammond, valued J1 official and Officials Co-ordinator for Team Bath AS was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month in September 2017.
- Ray Warren, County Treasurer and official of Frome Swimming Club was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month in January 2018.
- John Bolton, Website & Information Officer, was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month in March 2018.
- Emily Hurley, Coach for Taunton Deane Synchro was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month in April 2018.
- Chris Metcalfe performs many roles forTeam Bath AS / Keynsham SC and was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month in June 2018.
- Dave Beament was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month in September 2018 for his continued volunteering with City of Bristol, Keynsham and the South West Region where he plays a significant part in the development of clubs and swimming.
- Colleen Lewis contributes above and beyond being Membership Secretary of Taunton Deane Swimming Club and was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month for January 2019.
- Erica Godfrey put the disappointment of an injury behind her by helping Clevedon ASC swimmers poolside. Despite the pressure of GCSE's she continued supporting Club and County events as a Young Volunteer and was Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month for March 2019
- Shaza Lee regularly assisted with coaching and teaching Backwell Swimming Club's younger swimmers and undertook a range of roles at our 2019 County Championships, including announcer on a number of occasions. His achievements as a Young Volunteer were recognised with the award of Regional Volunteer of the Month for April 2019.
- Claire Abbott proved a real asset in her first year with Yeovil & District SC. Training to be a qualified official and generating raffle prizes and support for Club's the Easter Meet saw her volunteering contribution recognised as Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month for May 2019.
- Alex Towells is an excellent role model for Bridgwater Swimming Club's younger swimmers, not only taking coaching qualifications while progressing from Deputy Captain to Club Captain, but supporting fundraising and coaching sessions. Alex's volunteering contribution was recognised with the award of Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month for June 2019.
- Angharad Laraman not only competed for Weston Super Mare Swimming Club, she volunteered with its Learn to Swim programme, supporting the teachers every week. Angharad also helped out at club and county meets. Her volunteering contribution was recognised with the award of Swim England South Wes Volunteer of the Month for September 2019.
- Mike Lawrence of Burnham-on-Sea Swimming Club taught voluntarily at the club for as long as people could remember. Every one of their swimmers had at one point been taught by Mike and they all had great things to say about him. Mike sadly passed away in Mar 2021 but his contribution had already been recognised with the award of Regional Volunteer of the Month for October 2019.
- Mark Birkett is a ‘star’ volunteer who took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator for Team Bath AS several years ago and ensures the smooth running of his Club's Open meet competitions by recruiting and co-ordinating volunteers. Mike's contribution was recognised with the award of Regional Volunteer of the Month for December 2019
- Neil Harper and Paul Sartain, organisers of the Regional Residential Swim Course held annually at Bryanston School in Dorset, were recognised with the award of Regional Volunteer of the Month for February 2020 for their many years of hard work and dedication.
- Phil Brake, our County President in 2000, had been a coach at Bath Dolphin SC since 1985 and Head Coach of the senior squad for a majority of that time. His contribution was recognised with the award of Regional Volunteer of the Month for April 2020.
If you would like nominate a club member for Swim England South West Volunteer of the Month, click here.
What we do
Kelly Podbury, Sue Dors and Alyson Bashford have engaged with Swim England Volunteer Engagement team via its National Forum.
To learn more about what our key County or Regional volunteers do, please contact Mark Wells, County Secretary.
President Kelly Podbury has been our County Volunteer Co-ordinator since 2014 but stepped down from this role in May 2019. Please download and share this advert for someone to take on the role . We encourage our affiliated Clubs to engage fully and help fill this important vacancy to support our fantastic volunteers across the County.
Emily Taylor gave a presentation to the General Meeting of Somerset ASA affiliated clubs on behalf of Kelly on 28 Nov 2015 at Ring O'Bells, Ashcott. Please let us know how we can help and share your suggestions to recruit, develop, recognise and retain volunteers in your Clubs.
We promote inclusion and diversity, and welcome participation from everyone. If you have any particular requirements in respect of participating, officiating or volunteering then please mention this, in confidence if required, to our Volunteer Co-ordinator or Event Promoter. We are committed to equal opportunities and aim to provide a discrimination-free working environment. In line with the Equality Act 2010 we ensure that no volunteer, job applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment because of a protected characteristic.
What Swim England South West Swimming Committee and Sub Committee Volunteers Do
Please click on the relevant role to view the full job description:
Swimming Committee Secretary
Swimming Committee Finance Controller
Admin & Events Co-Ordinator
Regional Licencing Officer
Officials Committee Secretary
Regional Technical Officials Training & Development Co-Ordinator
Coaches Committee roles & Duties of Secretary/Coaches Administrator
Meet Manager role
Masters Committee Secretary
Somerset ASA is pleased to contribute to bursaries which support development.
Funding is available for ASA / UKCC Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Teacher and Coach Education Courses for all disciplines by submitting Swim England South West's application form to nominated County Officer Colin Christmas (and remember to copy in the Regional Finance Officer) . Please indicate on the form in which year you completed a Somerset ASA Young Volunteer Program if you wish to be considered for an additional £50 County bursary for those who did so. Please get in touch with Colin (contact details) should you require assistance.
The following resources may also be of use to you:
Volunteers' Week offers an opportunity to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It takes place 1-7 June every year. Please make sure your Club takes full advantage of the publicity Volunteers Week generates to help recruit, acknowledge, thank and retain volunteers.
- Club Volunteer Roles in the Swim England library
- Volunteer Engageement Handbook
- Making The Most Of Volunteers
- Guide to Supporting Volunteers
- Top Tips for Recruiting Volunteers
- Volunteer Support Guide
- Working with Disabled Volunteers
- Engaging With Young Volunteers
Ever wonder what your organisation could achieve with the help of a few extra pairs of hands? And what if they were passionate, skilled individuals full of new ideas and energy?
If that sounds of interest, make sure you check out this Volunteer Finder . It's a simple online tool which will match you with the right volunteers from the 200,000 who are browsing the site every month. Whether you are looking for help with a one off event or you need a long term commitment, your new workforce is waiting for you.
Volunteers make a vital contribution to community sport so give them and recruiters the help they need with Sport England's answers to common questions about volunteering.
Would you like to volunteer at some of the biggest aquatic events in the UK? Find out more and how to get involved:
Volunteers are the life and soul of our clubs and communities and it is important that they receive the support they deserve.
From understanding your volunteers' motivations, through to helping them develop in their roles, there are lots of things you can do as a club to support all of your volunteers and deliver a fun, rewarding and meaningful experience to them.
Click on the buttons below for insight and practical tips which can help you manage your club's volunteers. And on behalf of the County Management Committee - a big thank you for giving up your time!