Volunteer and Be Active!

Community Champions with Rother Voluntary Action SUS-170623-115535001
Community Champions with Rother Voluntary Action SUS-170623-115535001

On Sunday (July 9), the De La Warr Pavilion lawns will be buzzing with activity for Be Active 2017, an annual event that brings together a host of local sports and physical activity providers.

Now in its third year, Be Active aims to showcase the huge range of ways you can be more active and there really is something for everyone. This year you will be able to try anything from chair yoga to Zumba, combat fitness to circle dancing, all free of charge. There will be activities for all ages and levels of fitness so you are invited to come along and try something new!

The team of volunteers with Bexhill Event Support Team SUS-170507-125155001

The team of volunteers with Bexhill Event Support Team SUS-170507-125155001

Be Active is organised by the Active Rother project at Rother District Council in partnership with RVA, the organisation that drives the voluntary and community sector in Rother.

Stuart Ramsbottom from Active Rother said: “Everyone one knows that it’s good for our health and well-being to be more active, but you need to find something you enjoy doing and will therefore keep doing. Be Active provides an opportunity for local people to find out what’s available on their doorsteps and to have a go – for free – to see if they like it.

“I’m amazed at the variety of different clubs, groups and providers we have in Bexhill and they will all be there on Sunday to talk to people and encourage them to have a go,” said Stuart.

But there is another purpose to Be Active and that is to promote the benefits of volunteering through sports, physical activity and managing events. Luke Sanderson from RVA explained: “Without volunteers, most sporting activities and events wouldn’t happen – even huge, international extravaganzas like the Olympics rely on volunteers! And in the community, it’s volunteers who coach junior football teams, lead guided walks, like the Health Walks and run events like netball tournaments and marathons.”

One of the biggest challenges is recruiting volunteers who have the skills to manage an event – even relatively small tournaments require a huge amount of organisation. RVA has recently trained a group of young people in event management and they will be working at Be Active.

Luke said: “We ran a course for seven young people – who had all been unemployed for a long time – to learn skills that would enable them to make an effective contribution to the running of an event. These include organisational and communication skills, problem solving, team working and customer service.

“However, doing the course and then getting involved in the community through volunteering has given them so much more confidence. Thanks to their new skills and self- esteem, all seven have now found jobs or are attending college as full time students. They are still finding time to volunteer and will be helping out at Be Active 2017 on Sunday.”

RVA would like to invite more people to join our current experienced members of Bexhill Events Support Team (BEST) to support a range of local events. We are also planning a series of training sessions on health and safety, first aid, event management and risk assessment in the autumn. If you are interested in taking part and would like to find out more please call RVA on 01424 217259 or email luke.sanderson@rva.uk.com.

For a full timetable of the activities taking place at Be Active 2017, please visit Active Rother’s website at www.activerother.org.uk/event/be-active

RVA (Rother Voluntary Action) is the professional body that drives the voluntary and community sector in Rother. We are funded by local government to provide advice, information and support for setting up and running initiatives that enhance the social and economic wellbeing of the neighbourhood. www.rva.uk.com