- Advertisement -

Stuart Pearce is excited about the ground-breaking impact of Entain’s new innovative online portal, making it easier than ever to get involved with your local non-league club this International Volunteer Day.

With the annual global event taking place on Monday 5 December, the Pitching In Volunteer Hub has already filled more than 60 positions across the Northern Premier, Southern and Isthmian Leagues as part of Entain’s multi-million pound, multi-year grassroots investment programme.

Powered by Entain, the Pitching In Volunteer Hub acts as a one-stop shop to connect football fans and potential volunteers, providing clubs with a simple web-based interface to post volunteer opportunities.

And fans can also search for available jobs at a specific club or by location, with more than 200 job postings and applications published since the platform launched in May.

Volunteers are vital at non-league level and former England captain Pearce, an official ambassador who started his career at Wealdstone at non-league level, believes the new Entain center is ground-breaking.

Ahead of International Volunteer Day, he said: “Volunteers are the lifeblood of football.
“Going back to my own playing days, our club only survived on people who gave their time and effort. He is the center of the community, he brings people together.

“The sense of community is the most important to me. Without Wealdstone I’m not sure what trip I would have taken.

“They gave me the opportunity and the people who volunteered gave me that platform to thrive.

“Football clubs will not survive if they don’t get people to come and help. There is a variety of jobs, from working the turnstiles to helping out in the bar.

“If anyone is worried about volunteering, don’t worry, just come along.”

The Pitching In Volunteer Hub allows clubs to post jobs online with the aim of making it easier than ever for people to find a role that suits them.

In the past, volunteers were recruited through word of mouth and clubs’ own advertising—but the Volunteer Hub allows clubs to cast their nets further and makes it easier for aspiring volunteers to find their calling.

A club that regularly uses volunteer center Marske United, who play in the Northern Premier League and have filled more than six vacancies through the platform.

Bim Afolami Member of Parliament

And Bob Ryan, the club’s stadium manager, said: “The Volunteer Hub has been absolutely fantastic.

“It’s amazing how it’s been created and grown with people willing to help.

“Everyone has something to offer – no one knows how to do everything. What we are trying to build in Marske is a community center for the town.

“Marske is only a small town, but we are in competition with all the big teams.

“What’s happening now with people volunteering is making it more of a community environment for people to get involved and make new friends.

“Anyone can register at any club to do something. There are always certain skills that people have that can be understood and welcomed by non-competing clubs.

Bim Afolami MP recently visited his local club Hitchin Town, who train in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central.

And the Hitchin and Harpenden MP praised the role played by the volunteers after trying to man the turnstiles.

“Without volunteers, the club would not exist, which would be a shame, because here you feel like you belong to the club, it really is a family.

“It’s not the Premier League, it really is a community club and the more people volunteer, get involved and support the club, the better it gets.”

Entain, the global betting and gaming operator behind Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to support Camden Town FC as part of its ‘Pitching In’ Grassroots Investment Fund. Through Pitching In, Entain supports community sports, including the “Pitching In” Trident leagues.