We talk to one of our indispensable Go-Ride club volunteers, Carol Redgewell from Essex's Braintree BMX Racing Club.
Discover how Carol got into volunteering, how it has impacted her life and how you can get involved at a Go-Ride club near you.
How did you first get involved in volunteering at Braintree BMX Racing Club?
I heard there was a BMX track locally, so took my son along to have a go one evening. As a parent I was amazed at the organisation of the session, especially when I was told that it was run totally by volunteers.
This was something that I wanted to get involved with and help out at, so I arranged a meeting with the council to see how they could help the club further. I also checked with the club to see what I could do to help and they asked if I could apply for a grant for new fencing.
On submitting the bid, I was lucky enough to secure £2,750 towards the cost of the project and have since managed to obtain over £140,000 in funding for the club, involving several grant applications over a number of years.
What does your volunteer role entail?
I am now involved in all sorts of things at the club, helping out with the tuck shop, rider registration and sourcing raffle prizes. I also helped to arrange the nationals where thousands of people were racing and spectating.
This involved everything from sorting out road closures and planning applications to providing hundreds of bottles of water, cups of coffee and perhaps even more importantly, loo rolls!
What impact has volunteering had on your life?
I have learnt so much from volunteering and it has given me a number of new skills - from organisation to problem solving. Rather than already needing skills to volunteer, I feel you can learn a great deal from getting involved in volunteering and picking things up as you go along.
What do you most enjoy about volunteering at Braintree BMX Club?
The satisfaction that I’ve helped to achieve something, which everyone can benefit from and enjoy in the future. The facility is thriving and seeing all the young kids coming into the sport fills me with pride. Thanks to the time and commitment of all the volunteers, this club is one of the largest in England.
Do you have any advice for anyone else who wants to get involved in volunteering at a Go-Ride Club?
Don’t be frightened to make that initial offer of help. I would also advise existing volunteers to ask for help from new members; you will be surprised how much people want to help!
If you are interested in volunteering at your local Go-Ride Club, you can find out how to get started here.