‘Sports Volunteering in the Current Landscape’

 

Team Kinetic co-hosted the second MMU Sports Volunteering Conference, at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, within May 2016. The event covered key themes of volunteering within sport, physical activity and health-related fields, using a mix of practitioner workshops, engaging keynote talks and interactive practitioner-led stands.

Alongside this, the conference titled ‘Sports Volunteering in the Current Landscape’, included a full line up of speakers including: Geoff Thompson MBE from Youth Charter, who discussed helping young people, communities and society as a whole. Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up to Serve, who identified the role of evidence in her national programme which runs until 2020. Explaining how they have embed this programme locally and nationally to build uptake. Alongside these, Tony Jameson-Allen from Sporting Memories foundation, offered fascinating insights from the high profile Comic Relief part-funded dementia and sport history well being project discussing how sport plays a major role within helping dementia, and how activators and volunteers play a vital role in supporting the organisation.

The conference was aimed at organisations and individuals who have a role in recruiting, managing and deploying volunteers, as well as those with a strategic view of volunteer development and growth.

Catherine Elliott – Senior Lecturer, MMU said “We want to create a place where volunteering is examined in a professional manner. Starting the conversation to understand the role of the volunteer is vital, so that you can evaluate the value and potential of their support. The conference reflected on the dynamism of the volunteer space, with discussions and first hand, real world involvement being explained to a variety of organisations, to teach valuable experience and develop their growth”.

 

How you can turn every week into international volunteer week, and why you should!

International Volunteer Week is here again and for a brief period of time you are inspired to promote and publish your positive volunteer stories. This week you give thanks to all your wonderful volunteers via your social media channels and make gestures to those people that slave away day in day out, week in, week out for the love….helping to make your sport happen.

In the modern, professional world of sport with CEO’s and large work forces, it is easy to understand how a distance develops between the everyday member, volunteer, helper, parent and your organisation; as you as an employee are under pressure to hit targets, make money and grow your sport.

So how do you make every week, International Volunteer Week and maintain this feeling of goodwill to your valuable and dedicated volunteers throughout the year?

British Cycling’s Dave Brailsford talks often of marginal performance gains, the tiny differences between a successful team and a second place team. We believe that in organisations involving volunteers and the third sector, your biggest marginal gain can come from encouraging your volunteer work force to do more, to do it better, keep doing it for longer, and to gain more from their experiences.

So how can you do that? We have some ideas that we would like to share.

There are so many types of volunteer but they all share something in common; they like someone to acknowledge their hard work and say thank you.  Across a large organisation that can be difficult, how do you acknowledge the varying contributions they make? How do you even know?

To start with as an organisation you must look at how you are recognising volunteering within the senior management team and resource volunteering within your operational teams, do you have a person or persons with a responsibility for volunteering within your organisation at each level of management?

It starts from the top, is there an acknowledgement at board level as to the importance of valuing volunteers? Bearing in mind you’re a voluntary organisation!  That would be a great place to start.  We know that where volunteering is valued within an organisation’s culture you are much more likely to see amazing results.

Once you have some sort of volunteer management in place, you need to consider how you identify and recognise those people who are the “diamonds” for your organisation. These are the future volunteer leaders, those volunteers that operate over a wide range and number of volunteers and that inspire and mentor other volunteers.

To spot these volunteer leader candidates, develop a role in your organisation that examines your volunteer workforce. This role identifies the data and information you need to capture, and understands what motivates your volunteers and then uses that knowledge to facilitate and enable volunteer experiences that are fulfilling and rewarding. Read about our experiences in data insight and what we consider to be the most valuable data or take a look at the work of Join In.

It is easy for organisations to fall into the trap of offering great rewards and incentives, but the key is getting the right investment to the right people rather than spreading it too thinly across too many individuals. Incentivisation is part of a successful volunteer team, but you need to know what your return on investment is going to be. Who are you spending on? What do you expect in return? Are you investing wisely?   Having data on volunteer retention, cost per conversion, being able to map individuals pathway from starting out as a helper through to running a county executive or becoming a head coach. This data ensures that you remain focused on finding those “diamonds”.

Finally and we think most importantly you need to look at how you grow from a centrally administered and controlled volunteer programme, to one that is owned by the volunteers, clubs and participants themselves.  Any expanding and successful volunteer programme is partly the result of a ground swell of people from the bottom, not diktats from the top, you need to build volunteer leader infrastructure (by that I mean find great, motivated people and provide them with support, training and resources) that facilitates and enables your existing volunteers to help to offer more amazing, exciting opportunities to the next wave of volunteers. This is the virtuous circle of volunteer investment.

So to recap we think the most important things you can do to help your volunteer programme grow all year round is to;

  • Achieve an appreciation and acceptance at the very top of your organisation that values the investment volunteers make in your organisation. Value your volunteers.
  • Develop specific roles within your organisation who’s job is to collate your volunteer data and gain insight which can be used to improve your programme. Do not just collect key performance indicators.
  • Incentivise and reward volunteers all year round. Be smart, target rewards for best returns.
  • Identify, support and develop potential volunteer leaders. Leverage their experience and enthusiasm to spread your volunteer values.

Sport is known to be poor at retaining its volunteers, its time to move on from yearly gestures to look at understanding your rank and file stakeholders (not just members but mums and dads, siblings, and long standing supporters), what they want and how you can deliver to keep them engaged. We work with organisations to make valuing volunteers an important part of their culture and offer solutions that help with those issues outlined and encourage retention and development of volunteers. Our cloud applications, including VolunteerKinetic, provide an  easy to implement infrastructure that makes embedding good volunteer practice across your organisation simple.

I hope next International Volunteer Week I can write a blog where I talk about how we have move into a world where your volunteer is understood and is looked after as well as your CEO.

 

 

 

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Not another IT system!!!

angry at computer

Many of the organisations we work with offer the same reservations about initiating a new Volunteer Management System.
“Do we really need another IT system?  Why can’t we just use our CRM system?”
We are living in a time of rapid technological change and organisations are fighting to keep up with that change whilst battling for attention in an increasingly busy marketplace.  Its my aim to try and answer the question above but to also give you some food for thought on how you may future proof your IT infrastructure and grow your organisations ability to effectively communicate with your fans, members, coaches, volunteers, officials and, other stakeholders.
 
We live in the Post PC world where your various users have choice over how they want to keep in contact with you.  This includes phones, tablets, computers, smart TV’s, PC’s and Macs as well as old world technology like magazines and news letters.  Netflix has come to dominate the “Video on demand” space through making sure its service is ubiquitous, that is it is available on all platforms.  Now I’m not suggesting you are Netflix, but the lesson is clear, know where your users are and prioritize those platforms for development. 
 
Another important lesson from Netflix is to make sure the experience is consistent across those platforms.  If people have a bad experience on their phone with your web site or app, their opinion will be diminished across any other digital content you offer.
Not only do we have so many ways to plug in to the digital world, we have an even larger range of software options and channels to communicate through that space;  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Chat Bots, Google.  These channels provide vast infrastructure and reach but as more and more options become available the cost of keeping all these relevant and interesting becomes harder and harder, also your audience gets further and further segmented making each option less attractive for total market reach.  
 
How do you create an infrastructure that will be able to continue to cope with the endless developments that are coming down the line? Can you build in a manner that allows you create you own communities?  If you build your own community do you know how to track its opinions and trends effectively? Can you extract value from that relationship commercially, operationally and socially?
 
Let start with CRM and the problems it solve and creates. 
 
There is a clue in the name, Customer Relationship Management.  In its self it seems to make sense and you could argue it would solve some of the issues I have pointed out above, but let me explain what the issues are:
 
“Customers”.  If I’m selling widgets this approach makes sense, but in a sporting context who are your customers, is it the clubs, the members, the helpers, the fans?
 
This “customer” focused approach does not encompass the complexities your organisation faces. You do have examples where there is clearly a customer relationship and taking elements from good customer service is never a bad idea, but there are many other examples where you are stakeholder, signposting service, community leader, advisor, service provider, trainer and manager.  Your relationship with your “customers” is vastly more complex than most retail or service organisations.  Each user group listed has a very specific set of requirements from you.
 
CRM also makes the assumption that everything will go through you directly as an organisation. What we have learnt over the last 7 years is that communities really thrive when you, a central governing organisation, give your members, customers and interested parties, the tools they need to be independent and to take ownership of their own destiny.
 
I am not suggesting that a CRM policy is not important, and you should consider it carefully but not at the expense of the end user. Your CRM should be flexible to allow you to work with other solutions. It should provide a data and insight backbone through which you can track opportunities and direct contact.  But as the world becomes more complex it is unreasonable to assume it can undertake every aspect of your business communications strategy. 
 
Our particular area of expertise is Volunteer Management, they are not members often, do not always self-identify as Volunteers and they are defiantly not customers. Their roles vary from helpers to chair of your board. Our system provides specific tools for the specific job.  Events management, schedule setting, opportunity brokerage, skills mapping and training to name some headline functions.
 
Providing high powered tools that do a specific job very well, gives your organisation the opportunity to see exponential performance improvement and the ability to achieve new levels of scale. 
Our volunteer platform allows Manchester City Council to provide a service for over 7000 users with only one staff member.
 
So how do you get your CRM system and other specialist systems working more effectively together to get the best outcomes for your users?
 
Reduce account duplication and sign up fatigue.
Leveraging open auth ecosystems like sign in with Facebook, Google and so on, reduces friction for your users and also reduces the duplication of accounts. As a bonus it also gives a smooth route to encouraging users to share their experiences.
 
Don’t force square pegs into round holes.
Membership, CRM, content management, social media management; each have very specific requirements, make sure you have the right tool for the job and that they are as tightly coupled as possible so you can share data and get better insights.
 
Software as a service (SaaS)
SaaS has led to software solutions that are web based and available across multiple platforms at a lower cost.  These solutions normally offer specific tools that you can subscribe to as and when you need them.
 
Don’t get hung up on what you think you want to know
If you provide an easy user experience that encourages user engagement, they will provide you with more insight and data than you will know what to do with.  Try and keep your technology focused but most important useful to the end user.  If it feels like its more about what you want to know rather than what the end user gets out of using it, they will very quickly disengage.  Look at how you collect your data from the way people engage with your various systems and use that data to continually iterate and improve the end user experience.
 
The story goes that part of the reason Google won the search engine wars in the early 00’s is because they automatically placed the text cursor in the search bar so you did not have to click into it with your mouse. (There was a little more to it that is also worth a read) It really is the marginal gains that lead to excellent end user experience. 
 
The TeamKinetic platform is created using many of the ideals I have shared above.  Our software is always undergoing iterative improvements so we can strive towards the best user experience possible.  If you would like to find out more about our Volunteering, Workforce, Coaching and Club management systems please feel free to get in touch or visit us here .
 

 

 

 

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Manchester Metropolitan University 2nd Annual Conference “Sports Volunteering in the current landscape” – New speaker announced

All requests for Free tickets must be made by Friday 22nd April  – Please don’t miss out

The latest speaker to be confirmed is Yvonne Harrison – Chief Executive at GreaterSport, a leading Greater Manchester Charity Changing Lives through Sport and physical Activity.

Recently announced winner of Public and Third Sector Director of the Year by the North West Institute of Directors, Yvonne is an experienced leader with a track record of delivering positive impact through a high performing team.  Providing leadership across Greater Manchester to position Physical Activity and Sport as a key contributor to economic growth and population health improvement.
GreaterSport is striving to get one million people moving by 2017 and works with a wide range of partners to achieve this.
We believe Sport & Physical Activity;

– Makes a significant contribution to Greater Manchester’s social wellbeing and economic growth.

– Enhances lives, brings communities together and forms good sustainable lifelong habits.

– Should be promoted and celebrated for all, here in one of the greatest regions in the World for sport.

Yvonne is also a Non-Executive Director for Manchester Mangers Rugby League Club and Active Tameside.  She is also currently studying a Masters in Sports Directorship at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Yvonne will be part of our panel session when member sof the audience will get the chance to discuss the topics of the day with our experts.

To claim your free ticket to this event please get in contact here and let us know the days you will be attending, the names of the people attending on each day and if you can also let me know if you have any specific dietary requirements or access needs that would be most useful.

4th May 2016 –  Sports Volunteering in the Current Landscape

All VolunteerKinetic users are entitled to one FREE ticket to this event

mmu
Speakers include:

Geoff ThompsonMBE – Youth Charter

Tony Jameson– Sporting Memories

Charlotte Hill– Step up to Serve

Pukal Rana– Disclosure & Barring Service

Graham Herstell– Ball Zone

Chris Martin, Rolf Herbert and Nick Lowden  – Volunteer Kinetic and Greater Sport

The conference will encompass all aspects of volunteering in sport and the wider agenda within the current landscape. It will also provide a platform to draw together practitioners and academic perspectives from across the volunteering landscape to share, collaborate and network. There will also be the opportunity for delegates to attend keynote lectures from academics and practitioners, academic research presentations and interactive practitioner-led workshops. More speakers will be announced as they are confirmed.

If you want to purchase additional tickets for the 4th of May conference you can buy these at:

http://www.business.mmu.ac.uk/knowledgehub/mmu-sports-volunteering-conference-sports-volunteering-current-landscape.php for an early bird price of £38.00

If you need any more information about the event please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on 0161 914 5757 ext 22.

 

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4th May 2016 – Sports Volunteering in the Current Landscape – Get your tickets now!

4th May 2016 –  Sports Volunteering in the Current Landscape

mmuSpeakers include:

Geoff ThompsonMBE – Youth Charter

Tony Jameson– Sporting Memories

Charlotte Hill– Step up to Serve

Pukal Rana– Disclosure & Barring Service

Graham Herstell– Ball Zone

Adam Howard– MMU Student Volunteering

Chris Martin, Rolf Herbert and Nick Lowdwen – Volunteer Kinetic and Greater Sport

The conference will encompass all aspects of volunteering in sport and the wider agenda within the current economic and social landscape. It will also provide a platform to draw together practitioners and academic perspectives from across the volunteering landscape to share, collaborate and network.

There will also be the opportunity for delegates to attend keynote lectures from academics and practitioners, academic research presentations and interactive practitioner-led workshops. More speakers will be announced as they are confirmed so please keep an eye on our web site.

http://www.business.mmu.ac.uk/sportsvolunteering2016/

If you want to purchase tickets for the 4th of May conference you can buy these at:

http://www.business.mmu.ac.uk/knowledgehub/mmu-sports-volunteering-conference-sports-volunteering-current-landscape.php  for an early bird price of £38.00

Any further information please contact Catherine Elliott c.elliott@mmu.ac.uk or Katherine Roycroft k.roycroft@mmu.ac.uk

Proudly sponsored by

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logo-VolunteerK

VK Customers only – Claim your FREE ticket to the MMU Sports Volunteering Conference (3rd & 4th May)

We can now officially invite all our customers to the 2nd annual Volunteering  conference in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University.

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3rd May 2016 – VK Focus Group

VolunteerKinetic Customers only

This year we are extending the event and inviting all our customers to join us on the afternoon of the 3rd May where we hope to discuss the range of developments we have underway for 2016 and 2017.  We want to bring you all together to help us build a strong community of Volunteer Managers.  We want you to share your experiences and to get your ideas on how we continue to improve our product and how we can help you work better together.  We now have some clear user groups including universities, local authorities and sporting organisations and we want to make sure we encourage sharing and support of best practice.

We will start at 1:00pm at MMU All Saints Campus and will be winding up at 5:00pm.  The day will be very interactive as we look to get you involved in our development cycle.

The evening of the 3rd we will be hosting a social event in Manchester and we would really like it if you joined us for a glass of wine and a bite to eat.

For those looking for accommodation I have included some links to hotels that are well placed for the University campus.

Holiday Inn Express Manchester City Centre

ibis Manchester Centre Princess Street

The Palace Hotel

Pendulum Hotel

 

4th May 2016 –  Sports Volunteering in the Current Landscape

All VolunteerKinetic users are entitled to one FREE ticket to this event

mmuSpeakers include:

Geoff ThompsonMBE – Youth Charter

Tony Jameson– Sporting Memories

Charlotte Hill– Step up to Serve

Pukal Rana– Disclosure & Barring Service

Graham Herstell– Ball Zone

Adam Howard– MMU Student Volunteering

Chris Martin & Role Herbert – Volunteer Kinetic

The conference will encompass all aspects of volunteering in sport and the wider agenda within the current landscape. It will also provide a platform to draw together practitioners and academic perspectives from across the volunteering landscape to share, collaborate and network. There will also be the opportunity for delegates to attend keynote lectures from academics and practitioners, academic research presentations and interactive practitioner-led workshops. More speakers will be announced as they are confirmed.

To claim your free ticket to this event please get in contact here and let us know the days you will be attending, the names of the people attending on each day and if you can also let me know if you have any specific dietary requirements or access needs that would be most useful.

If you want to purchase additional tickets for the 4th of May conference you can buy these at:

http://www.business.mmu.ac.uk/knowledgehub/mmu-sports-volunteering-conference-sports-volunteering-current-landscape.php for an early bird price of £38.00

If you need any more information about the event please do not hesitate to get in touch with me on 0161 914 5757 ext 22.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In response to the “Coaching and Volunteering Data Management Systems – Procurement Guidance For CSP’s.”

TeamKinetic welcome the guidance from CSP Network and wanted to take this opportunity to clarify our service and to share with you how we think our range of applications can provide a world class Volunteer and Coaching experience.

We are offering 12 months FREE usage of our system to all CSP’s as a no risk trial.  If at the end of the trial period you are not happy with our support or service, you can export your data in its entirety. For more information on starting your free trail and pricing please get in touch here.

What we do

logo VolunteerKinetic logo-ClubKinetic
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Our system is not only limited to Volunteer management we also offer:

  • Coach management and agency support including tools for scheduling, payments, bookings, quality assurance and feedback.
  • An integrated database that allows for activity session and club sessions to be published, updated, searched and powerful communication tools to keep your clubs informed.
  • Accreditation and access management for events of any size, with badge creation, area access controls and on-site security.

We are actively developing more modules all the time for inclusion in TeamKinetic, our complete integrated package.

How far we reach

  • Our system is currently in use across the UK and has over 45,000 users registered.
  • Over 60% of those registered have been active in the last 12 months.
  • This year our users have already logged 27,564 hours
  • Last week our sites enjoyed 10,000+ page views

Who we work with

Our sports based customers include

logo_15 VOLUNTEERS MCC logo
Print BS Thistle 7 greatersport

 

We also work with a wide range of Universities, Hospitals, Charity’s and youth organisations.

What our customers say

“GreaterSport have been working closely with TeamKinetic over the past 14 months. TeamKinetic have been able to develop the system to suit our needs as a CSP, this has included upgrades so we can now manage both volunteers and coaches on the same system. Within Greater Manchester we have seen an increase in people volunteering with our APS volunteering score rising to 13.2% – we feel a lot of this is down to the management system as volunteering has never been so easy for the users. We would highly recommend working with TeamKinetic and are excited to see our volunteer and coaching workforce growing over the next 12 months.”

Nick Lowden

Workforce Development – Greater Sport

We have built our platform on the following principals.

The End User is the most important person in our world.

TeamKinetic is incredibly easy to use.  We believe passionately that less is more.  So we use data from the end user, what they search for, what they leave positive and negative feedback on, where they are, how many opportunities they view and what type of opportunities they are.  This provides insight and a more tailored experience for every user.  This IntelligentBrokering™ ensures every user is presented with information that is up to date and relevant.

Integrated social media, access via mobile device and the ability for the user to see and share opportunities with any one at any time.

We know you don’t like to send good people on bad experiences and we love to help you recognise talent and enthusiasm by;

  • Using anonymous feedback by both volunteers on opportunities and providers on volunteers
  • Giving volunteers ThumbsUp notifications for a job well done.
  • Rewarding both on line with achievement badges and in the real world with HourTrade™, those who go above and beyond

Its our aim and ambition to help you build a sustainable and strong sporting community of officials, coaches, volunteers and participants.

Support, support and more support

Information, data, and insight is excellent and indispensable, but it means little without the right support. We pride ourselves on our after care.

  • Monday to Friday – 9:00-5:00 telephone help line.
  • Online support ticket system for bugs and new features is always available.
  • Free access for customers to our yearly development conference in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, this year with speakers from DBS discussing safeguarding in recruitment, Step Up to Serve CEO Charlotte Hill and Geoff Thompson MBE from Youth Charter,  This year we are looking at Sports Volunteering in the current landscape of austerity. Book here.
  • Close working relationship with the Sports Volunteer Research Network so you can access a raft of academic research.
  • Monthly news letter that we like you to contribute to.
  • Partnership with the Sport and Recreation Alliance

Our products never stop improving and those improvements are driven by you our customers and the feedback you provide.

No Hidden Costs

Unlike some IT providers, we aim to be transparent and up front about costs. Offering long term assurances on price and clarity on future price increases.

In most cases our licence fees cover all standard on-going costs including support, updates, hosting, and data usage.

We want you to feel confident when you invest with us.

How do we achieve all this?

We aim to provide you with a set of simple to administer online tools that make promoting, signposting and communicating with your community simple and effective.

Our services are in no way exclusive and can work alongside any other web site or web sites.

The data collected can be exported at any time by you the customer. with an extensive library of report functions.

The system is built to allow you control over content and branding so there is little need for additional development costs.

Our CRM functionality means e-mail, social, blog and SMS can all be taken care without the need for additional external services or tricky exports and delivered fully branded at the click of a button.

If you want to find out how we can help you, please feel free to call or get in touch below.

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BADMINTONscotland launch VolunteerKinetic volunteer portal

badminton_scotland
Badminton Scotland are looking to recruit hundreds of new volunteers through the launch of their new volunteer portal powered by VolunteerKinetic in their preparations to host the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017.  To be part of this event and loads more before just go to;

volunteer.badmintonscotland.org.uk

The Total BWF World Championships will see the very best players in the world arrive in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from the 21st  to the 27th of  August 2017, tickets available from here.  Scotland’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour will lead the home challenge as she looks to build on her Glasgow 2014 silver medal at the same venue while GB stars and World Superseries Final winners Chris and Gabby Adcock will be looking to repeat their gold medal success from Glasgow 2014

Scotland has a fantastic history for running truly world class events and with the facilities Glasgow can now boast it has world class venues to match, but a big part of what makes the Scotland such an attractive venue for these events is the passion and commitment of the NGB’s and their legions of volunteers.  BADMINTONscotlands Chief Executive Ms Smillie recognised both huge potential and also the huge challenges that face her team in realising that this event offers a once in a life time opportunity to build a great legacy for Badminton in Scotland.

“As a governing body you aspire to host these events, not just because they are exciting, but because they provide us the opportunity to promote and develop our sport in so many unique ways” said Ms Smillie, “We know we have a committed community of Volunteers in Badminton Scotland that will help make this event special, but it is ourslider 2 ambition to open this opportunity to people outside the badminton family and use it as  a catalyst to grow our sport over the next 4 years”

When we asked how you turn these events into a legacy, Ms Smillie offered this advice for other NGBs “World class venues and events are fantastic, but supporting people who are passionate about your sport as volunteer officials, coaches, and event staff to name just a few of the jobs we have on offer; is what will drive the continued growth of our sport”

We at TeamKinetic have prided our selves on developing a platform that is as well suited to major events as it is to supporting the local badminton club find some one to wash the kit, as we know it takes all sorts of people doing many different tasks to make sport happen.  So it was great to hear Ms Smillie when she said  “VolunteerKinetic provided a simple solution to how we identify, recruit aTeam-Europameisterschaft 2012nd retain our volunteers  that was great for the World Championship Finals but more importantly is it will leave a sustainable legacy that we can continue to build on after this event.”

So if you love badminton and you want to be part of the action follow the link below and sign up as a volunteer for BADMINTONScotland and who knows you could be court side next year for the World Championship finals.

volunteer.badmintonscotland.org.uk

We look forward to seeing you there.

 

 

 

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Today we lost a good friend and champion – RIP Dr Steve Mansfield

It is with great sadness that today we must mourn the loss of Dr Steve Mansfield.  A long term supporter of our work and in our opinion an all round good guy.  Unfortunately Steve lost his 9 month battle with cancer yesterday and we wanted to send out our love, support and gratitude to his family and wife Madeline at this difficult time.  MMU-team-474x316-landscape

Steve was one of our first customers in his role as Associate Head of Employability at Manchester Metropolitan University.  His support and advice in those early days were so valuable that we are forever grateful.  We continue to work closely with the team at MMU and we will take this work forwards as an ongoing testament to Steve and his faith in us.

Steve will be missed by us all.

Chris Martin

Director

 

 

 

 

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Euro Hockey 2015 – 3 Lessons Learnt

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The 2015 Unibet EuroHockey Championships took place over nine days during August 2015 and was the biggest event that England Hockey had ever run in terms of volunteers and spectators.

The event consisted of 16 international teams from 11 countries and was broadcast on BBC Television. As you can imagine organising a competition of this size involved a considerable amount of work, and England Hockey knew that having the correct volunteers and using them effectively would be critical to its success.

Setting Up The Volunteer Opportunities

All opportunities were setup on the Hockeymaker.co.uk as ‘Applying’ opportunities. This meant that all volunteers were automatically informed that they were applying for a volunteer role, as opposed to it being a ‘first come first serve’ basis.

By utilising the ‘Enter a brief description’ function, volunteers were asked to leave a brief description as to why they thought they were suited to the opportunity. This enabled England Hockey to capture and short list large numbers of volunteers with relative ease.

Sessions were split into morning and evening and volunteers had to attend a minimum of 7 sessions to be eligible. This ensured that the cost of kit and training per volunteer was kept to a minimum.

Recruitment

Preliminary calculations suggested they would need 300 volunteers to fill 40 different volunteer roles (opportunities) ranging from team liaison officers to spectator services.

The first wave of recruitment started in September 2014 as part of a three month application window. This was followed by a second wave of recruitment in April to cover roles which had a low uptake.

By the end of the second recruitment drive 881 new volunteers had registered and 268 volunteers were confirmed on the event, with only 5 no-shows during the event.

The majority of the volunteers were from the UK but they did have some from the Netherlands and Germany.

Lessons Learnt

(1) Opportunity Not Required

The event went very smoothly with no major issues. There was one catering staff role which they had recruited for but it turned out they were not needed, but these volunteers were redistributed to other roles.

(2) Combining Good and Bad Opportunities

The one big lesson they did learn from the event was to combine the ‘Programme Sales’ volunteers based at the gates (which was a comfortable and enjoyable role) with the ‘Welcoming Staff’ based near the train station (which was a little isolated and had a high drop-out rate). By combining the roles they would be able to rotate the volunteers so everyone gets a chance to experience the arena.

(3) Dealing with Drop-outs

Organising the sessions when people dropped out, and moving people around from popular opportunities etc. This was the biggest task…making sure that they had enough numbers per session.

Although VolunteerKinetic allowed volunteers to mark themselves as ‘ Not Attending’ via the website, volunteers often contacted them by phone or email. This meant there was a manual process for the admin to complete in order to keep the system updated.

Covering the drop-outs was dealt with by sending SMS Texts via the VolunteerKinetic system, asking volunteers for urgent help filling the gaps.  This proved to be a very succesful approach which allways more than covering the short falls.

Conclusion

Overall a very positive and successful event, volunteers were very happy with the system, a small number of the older volunteers were unsure of how to register but this was easily managed over the phone. They managed to recruit a large number of Hockey Makers who were experienced but new to hockey.

“The biggest advantage was allowing volunteers to register online, we couldn’t imagine having to do it via email or paper applications, it would definitely would have been a huge task without the VolunteerKinetic system.”

Natasha McMorrow (Officiating & Volunteer Administrator)

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