31 Dec 2022 : Linnets hunt for new volunteers in scheme endorsed by ex-England skipper Stuart Pearce
Runcorn Linnets have signed up to the Pitching In Volunteer Hub in a bid to strengthen their team off the field.
The hub is an innovative online portal that will become a one-stop-shop to connect football clubs and potential volunteers.
Created for all 248 clubs that make up the Trident Leagues, at Steps three and four of the English National League System, the network provides a simple web-based interface.
Clubs playing nationwide in the Northern Premier, Isthmian and Southern Leagues are able to post volunteering vacancies, while fans can search for available opportunities either at a specific club or based on their location.
The hub, supported by ex-England captain Stuart Pearce, also enables prospective volunteers to proactively offer their services to clubs and register their skills.
Clubs such as Runcorn Linnets rely heavily on volunteers to carry out matchday duties and also day-to- day tasks which ensure they function effectively.
From operating the turnstiles, stewarding and catering on matchdays to pitch maintenance, ground upkeep or providing administrative and professional support, there are many areas in which volunteers play a vital role.
Newly-appointed general manager Bren Connolly is himself part of the volunteer team at Runcorn Linnets.
He said: "We already have a fantastic team of volunteers throughout the club - in our men's, women's, youth and junior sections. Without them we would not survive.
"Their commitment is unconditional and absolute. They do it for the love of the club and to help it grow and prosper.
"Some of them can be seen on match days going about their business but others will be working in the background during the week."
There are times, however, when resources are stretched.
The Linnets general manager added: "We always need to strengthen in terms of numbers and skills.
"There will be supporters in our fan base who unbeknown to us have specialist knowledge or practical expertise but might not know the best way to offer their time and ability to the club.
"People can volunteer on a casual or regular basis.
"It might well be that a fan or existing volunteer relocates due to work, family commitments or retirement and wants to find and link up with a new club in a different area."
Linnets chairman Peter Cartledge said: "The Pitching In Volunteer Hub is an ideal way to get connected.
"Our fans will see roles advertised that may be their current roles.This is not to replace them but rather to bolster our resources and take the pressure off existing volunteers.
"They all work so incredibly hard and we need to ensure that we look after them and have the right amount of cover for illness and unavailability.
"We can promise a warm welcome and a lot of satisfaction in being more closely involved with Runcorn Linnets."
Pitching In ambassador Stuart Pearce, who knows the value of volunteers from his early days in non-league football with Wealdstone.
The former England captain said: "This is a fantastic initiative that will be a real gamechanger for promoting volunteering at the community level.
"Equally, it can be a hugely positive and rewarding experience for those that volunteer, I encourage anyone to give it a go and find out for themselves."
Pitching In partners with the Trident Leagues as a groundbreaking grassroots sport investment fund, backed by the Entain Foundation.
Entain is a first-of-its-kind, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible gambling, sports integrity and corporate compliance worldwide.
It is also the founding partner of the Trident Community Fund, which enables clubs in the three leagues to apply for funding for a broad range of community-engagement projects.
Potential volunteers can seek out and enquire about volunteer opportunities at Runcorn Linnets or offer the club their services
Pictured: Stuart Pearce.
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Site Last Updated16:48 30/1/2023
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