Sported volunteers are the beating heart of our offer to the 2600 community groups we support.

By Sported |  24th December 2020

Sported volunteers are the beating heart of our offer to the 2600 community groups we support. As a small staff team, we are limited in number of member requests for help we can respond to in the speed and depth we’d like to.

However, through our 350 skilled volunteers, we can provide a range of organisational support quickly, where needed, that can transform a groups’ future and help them to thrive. Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, bringing skills such as business planning, fundraising, finance, governance and marketing. They offer their time, either in the form of a couple of hours ‘light touch’ remote support, or through a longer-term face-to-face mentoring placement. In recent years, our volunteering programme has generated well over 20,000 hours of critical support to groups right across the UK.

So why do people volunteer and what is it like?

Here’s the story of Brendan King, who explains why volunteering with Sported, has played a big part in his life and why he would encourage others to get involved.


Sported volunteers are prompted to get involved by a range of things. In Brendan’s case, he was experiencing a lull in his work and studies in 2019 so began to look for an organisation that he could volunteer with, whilst learning some new skills simultaneously.


He had worked in the charitable sector for many years, predominantly providing consultancy work to organisations to help them identify how to fully identify, measure and articulate their impact, which for many grassroots groups, limits their ability to raise the funds they need.


Brendan chose Sported because of his previous experience in the sport for development sector and knowledge of Sported from previous evaluation projects. Following his application and induction as a Sported Mentor, he started working with 3 Pillars, which aims to improve the lives of young people at risk of committing crime by providing them with effective support and mentoring to secure positive futures by engaging them first in rugby and other sporting activities. (You can read about their work in a recent Times article, published as part of a series of articles highlighting Sported groups, featured as part of the Times Christmas Appeal).


Through meetings with group leader Mike Crofts, Brendan helped 3Pillars to refine what they were offering and focus on setting key objectives and outcomes. He helped them develop an individual versus a one-size-fits-all approach which made their processes more efficient and increased the impact on the young people.


During Covid19, Brendan has continued to support 3Pillars, albeit remotely, by helping them develop a more flexible model so the organisation can adapt to the changing situation. He has also taken on another short-term volunteering opportunity, supporting an entirely different group in Nottingham.


So why would Brendan’s recommend becoming a volunteer with Sported?


As he explains:

“Volunteering is a two-way street. Despite having worked in the charitable sector for several years, I have learnt so much that I can now use across different sectors. There are thousands of community groups that could do with a little support to help unlock their potential. 

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on their future, and they need our support more than ever. If anyone is tempted to become a volunteer all I can say is go for it – it’s honestly a life-changing experience.”

During the pandemic, Sported has seen requests for support from our groups rise by nearly 60% as they grapple with the changing current situation and planning for their longer-term future. Therefore, Sported is seeking new volunteers with a passion to help the community and with skills in a range of areas such as business planning, strategy, finance, marketing, fundraising and governance. With your help we can reach and support more groups to survive and thrive.


If you would like to find out more, please take a look at our website or contact our volunteer team at



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