Volunteers Week – Meet Sue - leading our Marden Club!
During Volunteers Week, we’ll be getting some insights into what it is like support the running of our clubs across England, Scotland and Wales, but also to show how volunteering can not only improve the lives of club members, but bring positive outcomes for volunteers too.
Sue Eltringham (first on the right in image) has been at the forefront of our club based at Marden Cricket and Hockey Club since it launched in August 2022. Sue started to discuss her club by detailing what she believed the members benefit from most.
“The group enjoy coming together on a regular basis to share their love of sport. Most of the group have played sport in their past so they’ve still competitive edge! However, they love to feel part of a team - so whether it’s the quiz or the sports played in the second half our sessions, they love the banter and the camaraderie of the group.
“Many of our members now live alone so to bring them together and have some fun times every week is very good for their well-being.”
Sue believes the weekly session provide a benefit not only to the members but also to herself, with a close, personal connection to providing support for those unable to look after themselves.
“Everyone needs a routine in their life, that’s why it is so important for the group to run on a weekly basis. It’s not only important for the members to have a weekly group to look forward to but it’s also a regular fixture in my week too.
“I care for a family member and being able to give bac’ something to the local community who all look out for them is very rewarding. One of my group told me recently ‘it is the highlight of my week’ and that is great to know that by giving back some of my time, I am helping others.”
Sue led the creation of the group and spoke of the importance of getting a community of people to support, whether they be potential volunteers or club members.
“Although the thought of setting up a group may be daunting, if you can find two or three of you to start it together, you can share the load. I could not run my group without Caroline, who supports me every week and runs the group if I am away.
“Also, the support from the Sporting Memories is fabulous. There is excellent training, volunteer meetings and one-to-one support if you need it. The Sporting Pinks are also an excellent resource and you could run each session just using that, however, you can be more adventurous with your ideas and planning if you want to. The key element is the more time you put into sorting the sessions, the greater the reward in terms of benefits for members.”
Those benefits have been shown over the past 10 months since the club began and Sue finished by highlighting some of the key aspects of the club during that time.
“I’ve enjoyed watching how the group have become friends with each other and how they have supported one another since the club began. The younger members of the group seem to look out and assist the older members of the group where they can.
“From my perspective, I’m also aware that ‘giving’ something back to your community, and to society in general, is great for your own mental well-being - I certainly find it very rewarding, so I’d encourage anyone interested in volunteering for Sporting Memories to do so.”