Hits: 86


The Community Sports Volunteering Summit

5th October 2021, The Lamex Stadium, Stevenage FC

Managing, enabling and inspiring the volunteer

workforce in community sport in the ‘new normal’


Strategies, policies, experiences, real stories and successes to be told, lessons to be learnt, ideas and experiences to be shared.



The unique, must-attend event for everyone involved with volunteering

8.45 – 9.15 Registration and Tea/Coffee


 9.15 – 9.30 Welcome and setting the scene

Chair, Svend Elkjaer, Founder/Director, Sports Marketing Network

More Information

Svend Elkjaer is founder and director of the Sports Marketing Network, a leading consultancy and information provider with community sport and physical activity. Being described as ‘a positive disruptor’ Svend has worked across the UK and Denmark with all types of providers and funders helping them to become vibrant, visible and viable


9.30 – 10.00 How we engage volunteers with professional skills and experience to support community sports groups to develop and grow

Sandra Hillyard, Volunteer Services Manager, Sported

More Information

 Sported has a network of over 2500 grassroots community sport and youth groups. Our team of over 300 volunteers offer their professional skills and experience to our members helping them to overcome their operational challenges and become better equipped for the future.

Sported volunteers come from a range of backgrounds, with a vast array of experience and knowledge across topics including finance, business planning, governance, marketing, impact practice and income generation. 

In this session, you will find out more about how we recruit and match volunteers with members and the impact of sharing skills and knowledge for both our volunteers and members.

Sandra Hillyard is the Volunteer Services Manager for Sported, with over eighteen years of experience in the voluntary and community sector. Sandra is passionate about organisational development, volunteering, and skills development.



10.00 – 10.30 Volunteers driving the world’s biggest running community for mums

Mel Bound, Founder, This Mum Runs

More information

This Mum Runs is the world’s biggest running community for mums. I has grown to be the incredible community that it is, because of the wonderful women who make up the community. The engine behind the entire TMR machine making our free run programmes possible, is made up of nearly 500 amazing Run Angel volunteers – who are motivated by making a difference to other women’s lives.

Mel Bound is a multi award-winning sports and tech entrepreneur, community leader, disrupter and speaker. Passionate about the power of community to remove barriers and create long term behaviour change in grassroots sport – particularly for women and girls.


10.30 – 11.00 Developing a strong, positive volunteering culture

Jennie Arthur, Senior Project Manager, Sport England

More information

Grassroots sport relies on the support of millions of volunteers every year.  But volunteering is changing, with people from all backgrounds increasingly seeking alternative, more flexible and short-term ways to give their time.  With the vast majority of community sports clubs and groups reliant on volunteers to operate, they must be able to respond to these changes, to understand what people are now looking for, and expecting, from their volunteering experience. 

This session will consider some of the insights and learnings relating to sports volunteering, including the impact of Covid-19.  It will explore the importance of developing a strong, positive volunteering culture to help ensure everyone can get a meaningful and high-quality experience when they give their time to community sport, and provides an environment and opportunities that people are keen to be supported.

Jennie Arthur is the Senior Project Manager for Volunteering at Sport England.  With more than 15 years of experience working in the sports sector, the last five of which focused on volunteering, Jennie is passionate about supporting the sector to provide great volunteering experiences for all.


Sport England

11.00 -11.30 Tea/Coffee


11.30 – 12.00 How cricket and the ECB are supporting volunteers post-COVID and are inspiring South Asian female Activators

Shruti Saujani, Senior Volunteer Manager, ECB

Lisa Whyte, City Programme Executive, ECB

Shilly Pancholi, City Programme Executive, ECB

More information

During this session, Shruti Saujani will be taking you through some of the national learnings around volunteering and how Cricket has supported volunteers back into the game post-COVID-19.

Lisa Whyte and Shilly Pancholi will talk through their lived experiences of Dream Big Desi Women, the ECB’s City Programme that is set out to inspire 2,000 South Asian female Activators to Dream Big through cricket. It will explain what elements have been particularly successful and how other sports can take these to their audiences and the learnings and challenges. Focussing on tangible takeaways and what can be applied without money or budget being a barrier and some of the very random things that have worked for them. Shruti

Saujani is the Senior manager cities programme and volunteers at the ECB. She delivers a key part of their city programme linked to their South Asian Action Plan along with developing the national volunteer strategy for cricket

Lisa Whyte is the city programme executive for Manchester and Shilly Pancholi City programme for Leicester, both instrumental individuals in growing Dream Big Desi Women. They both share a range of lived experiences which has supported the development of Dream big to reach new audiences and inspire even more individuals to say cricket is a game for me.




12.00 – 12.30 Creating an agile, flexible, and resilient workforce

Eleanor Ower, People Development Lead, Sport Wales

More information

As we transition out of the various restrictions imposed due to Covid 19, the workforce becomes an ever more vital cog in the machine that will enable sport and physical activity to once again thrive in our communities.Over the past year everyone has shown how to be flexible and agile, so do we need to maintain this and build from its success? Not just keep up with the uncertainty, but to take advantages of it?

Participants want to access sport and physical activity in many different ways – Covid has taught us that in many situations, this is possible. But what does the volunteer workforce need to be able to function effectively? This session will explore some of the key components that will be needed to ensure that volunteers can make the most of these uncertain times, to make sure we’re constantly meeting the changing needs of participants, and to enable Sport in Wales to thrive once again.

Eleanor Ower is a previous international gymnast, with a strong background in performance sport as well as mentoring and coaching, Eleanor is now taking the lead on the strategic direction of people development in the sporting sector across Wales.


12.30 – 13.00 Panel discussion

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch 


14.00 – 14.30 Improving the experience that volunteers have whilst carrying out their roles Hilary Conway Partnership & Volunteering Manager, British Cycling


More information

Whatever the role, we know that volunteers have, and always will, play a vital part in the development and delivery of cycling.  Supporting our volunteers is at the heart of everything we do and it is crucial if we are to continue to grow cycling and provide a positive experience for all.  We will transform Britain into a great cycling nation by creating a dynamic volunteer journey that is inclusive and accessible and inspires a long-term involvement in cycling.

Without volunteers, cycling activity would not be possible at the levels we enjoy today. It is vital that we are serious about training, supporting and recognising the contributions of our volunteers.

This presentation will give you an overview of the British Cycling Volunteer Plan highlighting the challenges and barriers facing volunteers and outline the strategies we will employ to improve the experience that volunteers have whilst carrying out their role(s), to ensure volunteers are at the forefront of what we do.

Part of the Education Team at British Cycling Hilary leads on the delivery of the Volunteer Plan and associated strategy.  A keen sportswoman and recreational cyclist she is Women & Girls Officer, and Welfare lead for her local cycling club.


14.30 – 15.00 Creating an agile, flexible, and resilient How GreaterSport aims to support people and communities tackle inequalities through moving more, physical activity and sport

Dan Roberts, Volunteering Lead, GreaterSport Manchester

More information

Volunteering plays a key role in helping people live happy and healthy lives, whether that’s through the volunteering itself or the experience people and communities can offer when they share their time together. Since May 2019, our role has been to test, learn and gain an understanding of how we can improve the representation of people who volunteer in sport and physical activity to reflect the demographics of Greater Manchester. Our key focus has been to connect up local support networks from the sport and voluntary sectors to engage local people in their community to find out what needs to happen to enable people and communities to tackle inequality.

We hope the presentation will showcase some of our key learnings from out work and identify some key aspects we have found that supports people and communities to be active where they live.

Dan Roberts’s role is to build and share knowledge and understanding of enabling people and communities to tackle inequality and ensuring that volunteering is inclusive and reflects the demographics of Greater Manchester.



15.00– 15.30 Volunteering in the real world: How Access Sport’s Volunteering Project Team100 has diversified volunteering and created sustainable opportunities following Covid-19

Sophie Epsley, Volunteer Inclusion Manager, Access Sport 

More information

Access Sport’s volunteering project, Team100 aimed to ensure that volunteering is inclusive and accessible for all groups of individuals and wider reflects the community it serves. Sophie will share the key learnings from the project and discuss how the act of volunteering has diversified and changed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and how the local ownership of the model has engaged and retained volunteers in different positions to support sustainability of community clubs.

Sophie Epsley is the Volunteer Inclusion Manager at Access Sport, a leading charity ensuring that no one should be excluded from the transformational benefits of sport. Sophie has led and delivered Access Sport’s Team volunteering project Team100 and is also leading on the wider volunteering strategy across the Charity


15.30 – 16.00 Panel discussion and Finish