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Karl Wharton - Senior Lecturer: Northumbria University International Performance Coach – British Gymnastics. ‘ Re-developing volunteering at Deerness Gymnastics Academy: Strategy and Action ’. Background.

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Karl Wharton - Senior Lecturer: Northumbria UniversityInternational Performance Coach – British Gymnastics

‘Re-developing volunteering at Deerness Gymnastics Academy: Strategy and Action’

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Background

  • Deerness Gymnastics Academy (DGA) is a volunteer-led club specialising in acrobatic gymnastics and tumbling. The club took over a Durham County Council leisure centre in October 2011, which was to close due to cuts.
  • The club has a database of more than 100 volunteers that it can draw upon which is important as it has to run both the club and the facility.
  • This enabled the DGA medal-winning gymnasts to continue training in the North East and for the club to provide an important community facility, making gymnastics coaching available to all ages from novice to elite level. 
  • A charitable organisation with limited funds, DGA implemented a PR campaign to launch the new Academy, raise awareness of the new facilities and make the club commercially viable, and recruit new volunteers to run the club and the premises.
  • DGA has a website, Twitter and a Facebook page.
deerness gymnastics academy
Deerness Gymnastics Academy
  • http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/9285277.Deerness_Leisure_Centre_bounces_back_from_closure_threat_as_gymnastics_academy/

Hugh Robertson – Minister for Sport visits the centre in January 2012 to see how we have managed to save the centre. A real life example of ‘The Big Society’.

This initiative has been based upon the principles of empowering communities, redistributing power and fostering a culture of volunteerism.

http://www.the-big-society.co.uk/

deerness gymnastics academy1

DEERNESS GYMNASTICS ACADEMY

We take on the challenge!

volunteer strategy
Volunteer Strategy
  • We had to come up with a volunteer strategy that would enable us to:
    • Prove to Durham County Council (DCC) that we could sustain the club long term.
    • Prove to DCC that we could actually run the facility.
    • Ensure the facility complied to all health and safety legislation, etc.
    • Enable the effective day to day running of the centre.
    • Ensure that all the work required on the building could be completed at minimal cost.
key outcomes coaches
Key Outcomes: Coaches
  • Increase the number of volunteer coaches in the club
key outcomes volunteers
Key Outcomes: Volunteers
  • Increase the number of volunteers and support them to develop and run the club / facility
key outcomes volunteers1
Key Outcomes: Volunteers
  • Increase the number of volunteers and support them to develop and run the club / facility.
key outcomes volunteers2
Key Outcomes: Volunteers
  • Increase the number of volunteers and support them to develop and run the club / facility.
volunteer durham1
Volunteer Durham

What did we get for 2012?

50% course fees for four

Volunteer coaches (£1000)

Developed a mentorship

Programme for volunteer

Coaches at grass roots and

Elite level – funding

Support £1000 used to put

on two Mentorship

workshops and Invest in

a club mentor.

using pr to increase the number of volunteers and make them feel valued
Using PR to increase the number of volunteers and make them feel valued
  • We use every opportunity to tell our story, through…
    • Editorial media - press, TV, radio, internet
    • Exhibitions, sponsorship, competitions, direct mail
    • Audio/visual, press trips, publications, conferences, public speaking
    • Digital and social media
story telling
Story telling
  • Club Saved by volunteers!
  • The Next Generation
  • Elite Gymnasts
  • Medal Winners
  • Raising Funds
  • Lets Get Gold
  • Acropolis Launch
  • Awards
  • Charity Patron
the stories club saved
The Stories: Club saved

In October 2011 Deerness Gymnastics Academy was saved from closure with the support of volunteers who now help to run the leisure centre.

Volunteers

the stories next generation
The Stories: Next generation

The future of the club depends on recruiting new members and volunteers. An emphasis has been placed on gaining coverage for all levels of gymnastics not just elite and promoting our volunteers in all articles.

the stories raising funds
The Stories: raising funds

As a charitable body raising funds and run by volunteers is vital and assisted

by publicity.

outcomes
outcomes
  • The PR Campaign has met or exceeded all of its objectives.
    • The campaign has generated over 80 articles in print and 6 broadcast features in 14 months.
    • DGA has been featured in the sports, news and lifestyle sections of the regional media as well as TV and radio and some national publications.
    • New leads have generated income for the club.
    • The number of volunteers has increased.
    • Membership at the club has increased.
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