Friends for Leisure simply could not exist without our volunteers…
At FFL we currently have a team of a staggering 133 volunteers!
I am Abi Jones, and I am the volunteer coordinator here at FFL. (I am also fondly known as the volunteer catcher!) It is my job to go out and about and talk about volunteering – find the volunteers – persuade them to sign up – interview them – DBS check them – induct them – train them – support them. This means I am often found in schools and colleges talking in front of large groups, or in coffee shops meeting with volunteers to chat about volunteering in more detail.
Our volunteers help at youth groups, ten pin bowling, drama, fundraising and one-to-one friendships. These volunteers dedicate their time, totally free of charge, to support young people. Our volunteers are there to provide fun, friendship and encouragement to our young people – friendship is just something you can not buy.
Why do these marvellous people give their time?
Often volunteers tell us that they volunteer because they want to make a difference – when I ask, volunteers will say, “If you can volunteer – why would you not volunteer?”
Volunteers usually enjoy the added bonus of learning new skills, improving their CV and/or UCAS application, the rewarding feeling and using their free time productively.
Where do these amazing humans come from?
The majority of our volunteers are recruited in scools and college assemblies – as the volunteer coordiantor I attend numerous assemblies, usually in September and October, and talk about volunteering for FFL. We have volunteers from all ages and backgrounds, although the majority are between 15 and 23 years of age.
What is my biggest challenge at FFL?
Currently at FFL 35% of our young people are female, and 65% are male.
However, 75% of our volunteers are female and 25% are male.
As you can see – this annoyingly does not add up!
A lot of our male young people request a male volunteer – disappointingly we just don’t have enough to go around. Therefore at the moment we are specifically targeting male volunteers through our campaign #TheManHunt.
Do you know one of our future volunteers?
FFL will be re-opening our volunteer application process from the 1st March 2018. If you know anybody who would be interested in volunteering at FFL – please point them in our direction.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers, past and present, for giving up their time to make a difference to our young people. As the volunteer coordinator I absolutely love my role and all it entails – but without a doubt my favourite part is working with such outstanding volunteers.