” Volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless ! ”
We have a strategy that results in the club having ample volunteers, to support our own club needs and additional County, Regional and National Activities.
Deer Park Archers have been recognised for the involvement and support of our volunteers for many years from many organisations including Archery GB, Sport England & the Sport & Recreation Alliance! In 2013 we got Archery GB to recognise the need for our Club Officials to have access to the Archery GB membership portal, small but important steps to helping the club to function and our sport to grow. There is absolutely no doubt that without our volunteers we would not be able to operate in the way we do. More than 50% of our Management Team are non shooting volunteers and a huge number of volunteer parents, friends etc help on a regular basis.
Our Clubmark work has taught us the importance of clear Job Descriptions and ensuring appropriate training and support (Mentors) is critical to success. Almost half of our 200 + members are juniors, so we need to ensure they are engage and motivated to achieve their potential; Whether that be shooting competitively or getting involved from an organisation standpoint we try to provide opportunities to develop.
Virtually all our members are family units of 2 or more and we actively involve any family members who do not shoot. By involving parents from day 1 of beginners courses, training them to be Parent Coaching Assistants, initially for their children, this has produced a stream of parents developing the confidence to become fully trained coaches. We recognise individual circumstances change with time, those that are happy to give a longer term commitment become committee members, those that are willing to help on occasions are key to organising the bigger events and short term initiatives. Where members have skills they think would be beneficial to the club development we encourage them to get involve and utilise those skills.
Our volunteering approach is so successful that we have members helping at County and National levels and members have been recognised at all 3 levels including National Archery GB Clubman of the Year, Sports Coach UK Young Coach of the Year etc. Some of our volunteer programmes have been published at National Level including our Coaching Assistant Roles and members have been featured in publications such as Coaching Edge! The role of volunteers is so important that we now look at succession plans to ensure we are not left short.
We do all the usual things, award an Annual Clubman of the Year Trophy, ensure we recognise and encourage family unit contributions, record our thanks in the newsletter, and most importantly the whole club shares successes on and off the field. In 2014 we also introduced our Young Volunteer of the Year Award. We are not ashamed to admit that we are always looking to nominate members for external awards recognising contribution. Our volunteers are special and if appropriate they should be recognised, we have strong links with the schools and when juniors do something special we let the schools know.
If this sounds link something you would be interested to get involved with talk to a member of the committee to explore the opportunities currently available.
You don’t have to shoot to be an active member of the club or the sport of archery. Deer Park Archers could not operate in the way it does without the time and dedication of the many volunteer members of the club.
In addition to volunteering with general club activities you may wish to consider the following roles:
Click below to see examples of role descriptions.
Help to ensure the safety of those shooting during club practice. Training provided, mentor allocated, lots of social interaction and some responsibility!
Without people in these roles Archery would struggle to present itself as legitimate and regulated sport. The club will support members training to become Judges and certainly offer lots of tournament opportunities to achieve the require hours.
Member of the Men-in-Sheds Group
Opportunity to the men over 50 to be part of a team supporting the club aims. Members do not have to shoot or be part of the club, they may just chose to share a good conversation over a cup of tea or use new or existing skills to carry out some of the many tasks needed to run a large club. Wide range of opportunities, physical or not, just great to be part of a social group with a purpose!
Ground Support Work Team
There is away something to do at the club ground from mowing the grass, marking the distance lines to clearing the field course route. The more help on this project the better.
Be part of a team that supports the operation of Tournaments (both record and non-record status). This can range from setting the range up (normally the day before), to the operation of the range on the day. Training will be provided and for full day tournaments you even get a free cooked meal and refreshments throughout the day!
Be part of the catering team looking after the provision of refreshments at a range of events, often for the paying archers(so you are generating an income) but also for the officials and Field crew.
Management Committee Member
A range of roles, all with job descriptions and once again very much part of a team. As well as being responsible for a specific role you will have the opportunity to contribute to the direction the club takes in its development and share the responsibility to ensure the club remains sustainable!
Junior Committee Member (Max age 18)
To be a link with junior members to determine current issues, ideas for social events etc and to organise some of those events.
This is an expanding role and with regard to the size of the club, its activities and the demands of the archers, one that requires a lot of training and an increasing size of team. There are at least 3 areas of specialism.
Social & Fundraising Team
A key role to ensure retention and club identity to all our members is the organisation and delivery of social events and fundraising to allow us to keep membership fees to a minimum and develop our facilities.
As the club develops and our facilities improve and our performance becomes noteworthy we will need to look at areas of sponsorship (longer term commercial relationships) and business support (single event support). In 2018, when we have firmed up our plans for a clubhouse we will need to form a team to pursue potential opportunities.
We have an amazing team, however increasing membership demands mean we need to continue to grow our voluntary workforce in both quality and quantity. We offer significant funding to support training and amazing mentors and opportunities to train as a coach.