Recent research by Sport England identified that there are over 5 million sports volunteers. This represents 14% of the adult population contributing over one billion hours each year to sport, equivalent to a financial contribution of over £14 billion. The Framework for Sport in England highlights the roles of volunteers as one the “key drivers of change” necessary for sport to achieve its target of getting more people participating in sport and physical activity.
In September 2004 the NW Young Volunteers Programme was established in order to provide clearly signposted, well supported pathways into volunteering and potential employment in sport for young people across the region.
Building on the success of this programme, Sports Volunteering NW has now been established as an independent regional body, bringing together existing regional sports volunteering programmes and initiatives, which will effectively represent volunteers and the voluntary sector in influencing regional strategies for sport and recreation and contribute towards a 1% increase per annum in participation in sport and physical activity.
Sports Volunteering NW will be a key advocate for the voluntary sector and for all volunteers in sport and recreation, influencing and shaping policies and initiatives at local, regional and national level. Close partnership working has begun with Volunteering England, developing partnerships with the network of Volunteering Centres and working with Volunteering England in the North West on the establishment of the Regional Volunteering Assembly.