Do I have to be a teacher to get involved?
No. There has to be a school teacher involved with a District or County team, but it doesn’t have to be you!
Does it matter if I haven’t been involved in organised football before?
Not always. There are roles which require experience or qualifications (for example, coaching or officiating), but if you’re a good organiser or are community spirited, and have time to give, then you can get involved.
What sorts of voluntary opportunities are there?
Lots! Treasurer, secretary, fixture secretary, web designer, match reporter, programme seller, first aider, fund raiser, welfare officer, match official, coach, administrator, physiotherapist, team manager, committee member. Think of a football match – almost everything that goes into preparing for that game, and for making it happen on the day, is done by a volunteer.
My children/grandchildren don’t play football for their school. Does this stop me being involved?
Not at all, family participation isn’t a barrier, but of course if your children or grandchildren do want to join in, then they can!
I work full time. Will volunteering fit into my schedule?
That depends on what responsibilities you take on. Many of our volunteers work and support schools’ football at the same time, so as long as you’re clear on your own time constraints and factor them in to the discussions about getting involved, then you’re likely to find a pattern which works for you.
How much time does being a volunteer take?
As much or as little as you like! Largely, it depends on your responsibilities. For example, as a trainee physiotherapist, you can cover one event, for perhaps half a day, or each fixture through the season, if you want to. If you’re a committee member, then the time commitments are normally agreed in advance, for the season, so if you’re clear about your own constraints, you can work with others to plan your contribution
Do I have to attend every week?
Again, it depends on the responsibilities you fulfil, and the amount of activity your local Association runs. Talk to them to see what their programme looks like.
Do I have to fill in application forms and attend interviews?
Not usually, but for some roles which involve direct contact with children (eg coach, welfare officer), you’ll need a Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) check. Formerly called a CRC, or CRB check, this makes sure that those involved in the schools’ game don’t pose a threat to the children involved
Will I get my expenses paid?
Most Associations will make arrangements for some expenses to be paid, but this is variable, so if it’s a factor for you, you must make sure you are clear about it before you commit.
I’m doing some voluntary work as part of my qualification/training. Will volunteering for the ESFA or its members “count”?
That depends on what your qualification defines as voluntary work. Learn about the opportunities on offer from your local Association then check this with your tutor. Associations will usually be happy to provide some sort of evidence of your involvement, but make sure you discuss it at the outset, so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.