A volunteer manager’s tale

nicky-butcherPart of NCVO’s International Volunteer Managers Day 2015 series.

Nicky Butcher is campaign events project manager for Comic Relief. She has been working on Sport Relief since May 2015, where she is currently focusing on the delivery of 450 local events and five larger events across the UK. Nicky has previously worked at the London headquarters of RNIB as an area fundraising manager, and in numerous events roles in Bristol, where she graduated from university in 2007.

I have been managing volunteers ever since I started working in events. I have worked with them on freezing street corners holding bucket collections, in fancy concert halls while stewarding, and at the finish line of The Sainsbury’s Sport Relief London Mile at the Olympic Park. Volunteers are, as we all know, a vital resource that enable great events and charity work to take place.

Volunteers are all superheroes

I worked as a local events coordinator on Sport Relief 2014 – on the phones recruiting and supporting organisers to deliver their local Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile events. I found this role so rewarding and enjoyable, that I returned for the 2016 campaign to manage the team that looks after them.

I personally really enjoy working with volunteers – they are all superheroes to me. I have a huge amount of respect for the time and energy they put in to all sorts of things, and have been lucky enough to work with some really inspiring people.

My role at Sport Relief appeals to me specifically – not only because it is such a worthy cause – but because of the relationships I am able to build with the volunteers who sign up to be involved. Often returning for each campaign, my relationship with these volunteers can last a number of months. This can be quite rare in the volunteering world where there are so many ‘one off’ opportunities.

People come and go, but with Sport Relief, I at least get a chance to get to know them a bit first! It is the passion, enthusiasm and ‘going above and beyond the call of duty’ that is so impressive and makes managing these volunteers so enjoyable and motivating.

A real commitment

We are very lucky at Comic Relief to have a brand as well-loved as Sport Relief. Each campaign we have hundreds of volunteers apply to plan, manage and deliver these events for us. We support them every step of the way, providing them with a dedicated contact on the phone five days a week, a huge supply of templates and handbooks, and all of the materials they need on the day.

We ask a lot of our volunteers. The role they deliver is not just a day or a few hours of their time. They fully commit to the campaign and the delivery of their events over a number of months, and for that we are forever grateful.

Looking ahead

Sport Relief 2016 is set to be the biggest and best yet with over 1,000 events taking place across the UK on Sunday 20 March. If you would like to be a part of it then sign up to organise one of our fantastic Mile events.

We offer you all the support and resources you need to deliver your very own fun run in your local community. For more information you can email events@sportrelief.com or call 0207 820 2363.


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