THE number of people volunteering their time to support sports activities has increased by 4,788 in East Lindsey over the past three years.
Figures released by Sport England show that 9.2 per cent of people from the District now actively volunteer to develop sport in the District for at least one hour per week. The national average is 7.2 per cent.
East Lindsey District Council has led a number of pioneering programmes to encourage more people to actively volunteer in their local community, particularly to support the delivery of major events, including sport and cultural activities.
Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at the Council, Coun Adam Grist, said: “Volunteering is not only an opportunity for local people to support the local community; it provides a great chance for the volunteers themselves to develop new skills and work towards coaching qualifications.
“Many people volunteer without realising. Whether you’re a parent running the line at a football match on a Sunday morning; an unpaid coach helping to improve a local club or even someone who unlocks their local community hall or changing rooms; the input from volunteers in our day to day lives in invaluable and I’d like to thank everyone who gives up so much of their own time to make sport such a great success in East Lindsey.
Lian Harrison from Louth, a volunteer currently studying for a Foundation Degree in Sports Coaching, said: “Volunteering in sport has given me confidence to pursue a coaching career and provided me with valuable experience as part of my studies.
“I have completed coaching qualifications in Netball and Athletics, with Badminton and Volleyball courses already booked.
“I am continuing to volunteer even though I have found paid employment, as I find it extremely rewarding.
“My volunteering has also led to paid employment, working as a sports coach with a range of ages at the Meridian Leisure Centre. I would like to thank the Cultural Team for assisting me to pursue this path.”
As part of its effort to increase the number of volunteers the District Council manages a database called Cultural Force, which has received the prestigious Inspire Mark from London 2012. Cultural Force matches people who are keen to volunteer with the types of opportunity that interest them.
Club and Volunteering Officer for the Council, James Turner, explained: “There is such an enthusiasm for people to get active in their local area by volunteering and we will continue to work hard to match volunteers with opportunities that interest them. As well as giving something back to the local area, volunteering provides a chance to meet new people and make new friends.”
With East Lindsey Live being launched in January 2012, the District Council hopes to work with more volunteers than ever before next year.
If you’d like to register an interest in volunteering, please contact James Turner on 01507 601111 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org