Sadly, there is no level playing field when it comes to volunteering. Research demonstrates that young people from disadvantaged areas volunteer in sport at only half the rate of their counterparts from more affluent groups.

The reasons behind this trend are simple. For instance, there often isn't enough opportunity for young people to play sport in disadvantaged areas, and if less sport is being played, then there’s less chance of a motivated youngster finding somewhere to help out. Of course, when these opportunities are made available, StreetGames finds that many young people will gladly rise to the challenge. The StreetGames Young Volunteer (SYV) programme works to create these same opportunities.

Sport clubs in the UK are run by all sorts of people. Whether they’re coaching the team, counting the membership forms or making sandwiches for the participants, all of them have one thing in common: they’re volunteers - volunteers who enjoy giving up time in this way because they feel a strong sense of attachment to that organisation.

Sports volunteering is now the single largest volunteering sector in the UK, with around 2 million sports volunteers active every year.

 

Research shows that volunteering is good for the volunteer and that the volunteers’ efforts are good for the community.

StreetGames places great emphasis on volunteering within its projects. The StreetGames Young Volunter programme, which was established in 2007, offers volunteering opportunities for 16-25 year-olds within StreetGames projects, helping them make a positive difference in their local community. A typical young volunteer will support and run local sport sessions and tournaments, assist at large-scale national sports tournaments, learn how to coach sport and design youth-led activities. By contributing in this way, they increase resources in their local community, providing more young people with the opportunity to participate in sport. The programme also assists participants in developing their confidence, self-esteem and community leadership skills, and they have the opportunity to gain recognised awards and qualifications.

A Doorstep Sport volunteer typically organises sports activities for seven participants - creating a seven to one ratio and ensuring Doorstep Sport is sustainable.

 

The programme has been monitored and evaluated using a range of different means, including:

• The collation and analysis of volunteer and participant monitoring data.
• Undertaking a volunteer survey with a sample of over 300 StreetGames Young Volunteers.
• Undertaking interviews with a sample of volunteers and volunteer mentors.
• Use of the Youth Outcomes Star impact assessment tool with full-time volunteers.
• In-depth life grid interviews with 18 long-term volunteers and an over-arching summary analysis undertaken by Dr Carolynne Mason and Caron Walpole from Loughborough University.

Click here to view the 2016 Young Volunteers Report.

This document provides a summary of the findings from this programme based on the monitoring and evaluation work detailed above - more detailed evaluation reports are available on request.

 

You can make a difference

Sport brings huge benefits to young people’s lives. Even a small donation helps us to make those benefits available to our most disadvantaged communities.

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