Young Volunteers Secure Funding for New Activities
The Cycling Award for Young Volunteers has already produced many success stories around the country with many young people progressing from the 6 hour course into regular volunteering with their local Go-Ride Club. The latest achievement has been for 6 young volunteers (Aiden Owen, Liam Webster, Amber Webster, James Unwin, Kyle Brough and Jamie Langton) with Sheffield Cycle Speedway Club successfully applying for £2,000 from the CTC Bike Club scheme.
The activities of the 6 young volunteers are supervised by 2 volunteer coordinators in the club Rob Mace and Rob Mawhood and they were fully supportive of the young peoples desire to apply for external funding for the club.
The volunteer coordinators arranged a meeting at a local leisure centre cafe for the young volunteers and prepared the resources from which the young people would be able to create an application for funding. The resources that the volunteer coordinators prepared were:
• Statistics from the Sport England Active People survey (www.sportengland.org.uk)
• Statistics about the area the club operates from the Office of National Statistics Website and the government and communities website (http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/ & http://www.imd.communities.gov.uk/InformationDiscovery.aspx)
• Go-Ride Funding Guide
The volunteer coordinators had provided the young volunteers with all the ingredients to make a decision and now it was up to them to mix them all together and create a project that would be successful. However, this was the first time that these young volunteers had ever done this so Rob Mace and Rob Mawhood facilitated the meeting of these young volunteers.
The first task was simply for all the young volunteers to write down everything that they wanted to do or they wanted their club to provide for them. The results of this exercise included a fleet of new bikes, more coaching sessions, more trips away and more activities led by them. Not surprisingly this step didn't take too long, but the next steps were where the young volunteers really utilised their analytical and creative skills.
The second task of the meeting was for the young volunteers to read the statistics provided for them and identify which groups in the community are under represented at club activities and what barriers are preventing these groups from participating. The young volunteers identified that there could be a lot more young people attending coaching sessions in winter and that there could be more women and girls attending club activities. The barriers to participation were identified as a lack of appropriate ancillary facilities such as changing areas, socialising areas and toilets. Another key barrier the young volunteers identified was finance because they quoted the statistics from the government and communities' website, which stated that the club operated in one of the 3% most deprived areas of the country. The result of this was that the young volunteers decided that they wanted to:
• Deliver indoor Cycle Speedway sessions throughout the winter at a venue with excellent changing rooms, toilets and socialising area.
• Deliver specific cycle speedway sessions for women and girls
• Train 2 female coaches to act as role models for other women and young girls and ensure that there are volunteers available to support the participation of women and girls in the summer as well
• Train 4 volunteers in bike maintenance so that they can maintain the bikes and ensure that people from low income families have access to working bikes all the time
• Allow people to participate for £1 instead of £2 if they bring a friend
Armed with these facts they then searched the Go-Ride Funding guide to see which organisation had similar aims and the fund they identified was the CTC's Bike Club fund. This meant that young volunteers had matched the club's needs, with the needs of the community and the funding provider. All that was left to do was for the Volunteer Coordinators to write up the findings of the young people in the application form and submit the application form.
The CTC were very receptive about this project and decided to award the £2000 requested. The young volunteers would like to thank the CTC for their support and the opportunity to help deliver such a big project. The next task for the young volunteers is to help promote and deliver the indoor Cycle Speedway sessions which thanks to the support of the CTC, will result in more young people, more women and girls from deprived areas of Sheffield participating in Cycle Speedway sessions throughout the winter.