Volunteer of the Month - January 2015
Meet John Sennett. He has used his love for sport to make a massive contribution to a cause he cares about.
John regularly volunteers for a variety of sport organisations. He has recorded over 600 hours of volunteering and has gained a v10, v50 and v100 award . Our blogger, Marty, found out more.
600 hours is very impressive - how have you managed to clock up so many hours of volunteering?
I’ve worked closely with a few organisations mainly within sport and I've gradually taken on larger roles. I'm always on the lookout to learn new sports so I take on multiple roles at a time. I have volunteered with Winchester Goal Ball Club - a visually impaired Paralympic sport, and I ran community events for St James’ Park in Southampton. Since then I've been running a disability cricket club and two more community games events.
You were nominated by Friends of St James’ Park, how did you get involved with them?
I found the opportunity on do-it.org. At first I didn't have any experience in events but knew my sporting background would help. I applied and everything happened from there.
Without having any experience in events, how did you tackle this challenging role?
Originally I only planned to assist with planning, but then the chance arose to make a much bigger contribution. With my background in disability sport, I wanted to make the event fully inclusive, so I became the lead for all the sports. I planned 13 activities, helped with marketing and social media and trained and recruited volunteers. 3000 people attended so I guess all the hard work was worth it!
And will you continue to volunteer with Friends of St James’ Park?
I most certainly will! I’m now a Sports Representative and part of my role is to plan and create potential events and projects. I'm planning to set a Guinness World Record for Rounders next summer with the aim to bring the whole community closer together.
Is bringing the community together something you aim to achieve through volunteering?
Yes, and I've seen first-hand how my volunteering has opened doors to others to participate in sport. Especially in disability sport which is my real passion. I came into volunteering to allow people to achieve their goals, and I'm seeing that happen.
Has volunteering helped you on a personal level?
I've completely changed. I first started as a shy and nervous young person but have gained the self-confidence to lead events and inspire others to take up volunteering. From my experiences, I set up a personal blog explaining my journey and to advise potential new volunteers on areas within the sector.
How did it feel to win Vinspired Volunteer of the Month?
I cried. I've put so much work and sacrifice into the two years of my volunteering, it was the moment I was given recognition for something I now call a passion.
“John has gave over 150 hours to one event I simply would not have been able to do it without him. He made it truly inclusive to all ages and abilities.” Marina Murphy, Community Volunteer Coordinator at Friends of St James’ Park.
Want to volunteer in sport? Check out the marketplace .
Know a brilliant volunteer like John? You can nominate them for Volunteer of the Month.