Play It Again Sport: Adding value by placing volunteering at the heart
Play It Again Sport (PIAS) is an award winning social enterprise that encourages local people and organisations to donate unwanted sports kit to prevent clothes going into landfill and to help more people to gain access to sport by providing low cost or free sports kit. Working in partnership with Too Good to Waste, all items sold have helped to contribute to the costs of co-creating community sports events, such as termly inter-school sports days in Rhondda.
PIAS takes great pride in providing volunteering opportunities for all ages; involving young children in sports kit collections as part of their citizenship week activities; providing volunteering and work placement opportunities for comprehensive school pupils; as well as encouraging parents and guardians to volunteer in sports clubs and for sporting activities to enable more young people to access sport.
A key purpose of the project is to support young people and adults to flourish and thrive in education, employment and wellbeing. They do this by providing comprehensive training and support – treating all volunteers as fully fledged members of staff. All volunteers undertake an induction course as well as receiving training on things like health and safety and safe-guarding. This all contributes towards developing skills and confidence needed for future employability.
By familiarising themselves with the world of sport, young people are enabled to see it as a leisure option, a route to employment and even employment itself. A number of these volunteering opportunities have led to further employment such as coaching, with PIAS providing funding for volunteers to take additional tag rugby training with the WRU. This additional support is vital to ensuring long-term sustainability for the different groups and clubs supported in the local community. Sport requires self-discipline and this is also a cornerstone of a person’s employability.
By being involved in the collection and re-selling of sports kit and equipment, volunteers also learn about environmental responsibility as PIAS is effectively diverting waste from landfill and using cleaning methods that are water efficient and minimise or avoid discharge of harmful chemicals to the water treatment system.
By volunteering with PIAS, young people are also brought into an environment of active participation and team work, which can counter the growing epidemic of obesity and social isolation that comes from a life led indoors.
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About this project
This case study is part of the #iwill campaign supporting youth social action.
The #iwill campaign is an opportunity for employers in Wales to show their support for youth social action among young people. This includes activities such as volunteering, campaigning and fundraising, all of which create multiple benefits to employers, to communities and young people themselves.
Cynnal Cymru is working with the WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action) and Volunteering Wales to provide practical information and support to employers on how they can embed social action into their sustainability strategy or Corporate Social Responsibility Policy.