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Volunteers: Important People

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Volunteers: Important People or V:IP for short is Living Sport’s new project to support and develop volunteers across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The project has secured funding from Sport England to develop new opportunities for volunteering across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

We want to help Sports Clubs become at the heart of their local community, to enable them to contribute to the local health agenda and to benefit from working with local education and voluntary and community sector partners. This can only be done by focussing on the Volunteers – training existing Volunteers and engaging new Volunteers through closer working with health partners, Councils for Voluntary Services / Volunteer Centres (CVS) and Further & Higher Education institutions (FE/HE).

In our extensive engagement with Sports Clubs the need for more volunteers to help them deliver their programmes is a primary concern. 89% of Sports Clubs that Living Sport has engaged with recently cited lack of volunteers as an issue. Highlighting that it is often the committee and regular officiating roles that are difficult to fill rather than one-off event volunteering. Further Education Colleges and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) meanwhile are seeking high quality volunteer placements for their students, over extended periods rather than just the one-off event volunteering.

Analysis of local information has identified the current state of volunteering in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough a declining percentage of those volunteering in sport at least 1hour per week (Active People Survey) with the 3.8% figures well below the England and East average.

Commenting on the successful award Simon Fairhall, Chief Executive said “This Award will enable us to do some work which we have had in mind for some time, especially greater and regular recognition of the essential contribution made by volunteers in our local sports clubs. The timing of this lottery award is also very prescient with the strong emphasis on volunteering within the newly launched Government Sports Strategy, and the highlighting of the role that sport and physical activity can play in supporting wider agendas, especially the health agenda.”


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