This handbook contains information, guidelines and responsibilities for all LoveFootball volunteers. We have developed this handbook to support our volunteers to successfully deliver our ethos and support those that attend our sessions to the best of our ability.
We welcome your feedback and if you think there is anything which is unclear, not covered or something which needs expanding, please let Dan know via WhatsApp Message.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact Dan (07894503970) or Tom (07984065512)
Firstly, we would like to congratulate you on becoming a LoveFootball volunteer. It is a testament to your commitment, character and desire to help others and make a difference.
Our aim is to provide a quality football offering which will be used as a tool to promote open and honest discussions around mental health, stress and any life issues such as work, family life and financial worries. We hope this will in turn have an impact on male suicide in the areas we work and ultimately lead to a happier, healthier life for many.
We value our volunteers and truly appreciate the work they and we want to look after them and provide support, training and the tools to succeed.
Aspiration: To support positive and mental well-being through a love of football.
We achieve this by:
- Giving all participants a warm welcome. Think of them as friends you haven’t met yet.
- Ensure everyone is included regardless of ability, age, or fitness level. (This includes encouraging players to be involved by actively engaging them in play)
- Try and put a name to a face, it might be the only time in the week someone is spoken to in a positive manor.
- Talking and listening openly and honestly (where you feel comfortable) about life issues.
3. Our Volunteers
All our Volunteers are blokes who have attended our sessions and know what it’s like to turn up for the first time and understand our ethos. They have already shown commitment and have been recognised for their positive impact at our sessions.
- Attended sessions regularly for a minimum of 3 months
- Set an example on and off the pitch and embody our ethos
- Have a passion for football and mental wellbeing
- Understand our aims.
- Ensure session is set up to LoveFootball standard including equipment. (See session set up)
- When attending a session someone else is running, ask them what they need a hand with before and after a session.
- Attend designated sessions regularly.
- It is expected that you will attend the session/s you are responsible for (Set out below). If you cannot make the session one week, please let us know with as much notice as possible and try to avoid cancelling on the day. We know things change but we need to time to arrange cover.
- If you are attending a session, you are not responsible for, the same applies.
- Promote our ethos and encourage others to play the game with our values as paramount.
- Welcome new members and make them feel like they belong.
- Try putting them on a team with a volunteer or regular player.
- Ensure games are played with LoveFootball ethos and identify and address where this is not the case.
- Ensure teams are selected with thought and aim to balance fitness levels, age and ability. (Teams not to be selected by ‘captains’)
- Report any issues to Dan/Tom
- Complete Zero Suicide Alliance training within 1 month. Click this link to access training. Once complete, send a copy or screenshot of your certificate to Dan (07894503970)
- We will update this area in the coming months with additional training and we will inform you as and when.
All Volunteers will receive:
- LF Volunteer Football shirt (X2 if you do more than 1 session per week)
- Black Shorts (X2 if you do more than 1 session per week)
- LF Volunteer Half-Zip Top
Please look after this but we understand accidents happen. If anything needs replacing, please let Dan or Tom know and we will replace as soon as we can. Please note there is a 4-6 week lead time for clothing to be printed.
We want our volunteers to be themselves and enjoy the sessions, however, please remember you are representative of LoveFootball and your conduct is a reflection on the organisation. We trust in our volunteers to behave appropriately and here’s a few guidelines;
- Treat every person fairly and with respect.
- Always speak positively where possible (it may be the only positive thing people hear all day). We are human and we may occasionally lose our cool or have a whinge and that’s ok. It is important that we acknowledge this and apologise when we can.
- Do not put yourself or others at risk. If there is a potentially dangerous situation, remove yourself and whoever else may be in danger where possible.
- Look after equipment. Treat equipment with respect and always endeavour not to lose or allow equipment to be damaged.
- If someone discloses anything you have concerns about, please write down what was disclosed and contact Dan/Tom at your earliest convenience. If you feel the person is in immediate danger, try and keep the person with you (if they want to leave, that’s their choice and there isn’t much you can do) and contact emergency services.
- We may need help covering other sessions. If you can help, we appreciate it.
- As a volunteer you have an obligation to handle sensitive information confidentially. You should not disclose confidential information including addresses and contact information or any issues discussed relating to a player to anyone who is not authorised to see it which is Dan, Tom and LF Volunteers.
- All request from media should be directed to Dan (Dan@love-football.org)
- Any volunteer found engaging in criminal or illegal activity will be reported to the police.
- Gambling is strictly prohibited when volunteering.
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited whilst volunteering.
- Any gratuities or gifts must be declared.
We ask you to use your common sense and represent LoveFootball with pride and promote our ethos.
4. Session set up
Before the game:
- On the day of the session, try and drum up numbers by sticking a message in the WhatsApp groups. (If your session is on a night where there is no Vets session, make sure we post in both groups). Just a message in the morning and one if the afternoon is plenty, we don’t want to bombard them. Try and avoid posting about the session you deliver on the day of another session as we may be struggling to get enough numbers for that session and may dilute or confuse the message.
- Make sure you have what’s need for the game and get if you’re short of anything, stick a message in the volunteer group as soon as you can, ideally at least 2 or 3 days in advance. We can hopefully sort some more equipment or come up with a plan.
- Try to get the teams sorted about an hour before the game. There is no pressure to get these ‘right’ but try and balance them fairly considering ability, age and fitness.
- Get to the pitch at least 10 minutes before kick-off time. This gives time to welcome the players, get the pitch ready and sort teams out.
- Take the lead! ‘Lads! Come and get a bib if you need one, if you don’t know, come and see me’ ‘2 minutes lads and we’re getting going’
- Gather everyone in for a team talk at every session. This can be brief or if there have been a few issues go into more detail. Keep it positive!
During the game:
- Get started on time. If people come late, they can join in when they arrive.
- Change keepers every 5 minutes. Try and make sure everyone has a go. It may be tempting to divide the amount time by the number of players so everyone only does one stint. This can leave players standing around getting cold and some players may need to go in net more than once due to fitness.
- Ensure the game is played in the right spirit. Watch out for;
- Moaning and chastising other players.
- Not passing the ball to players who they think may not be as good.
- Slide tackles/Heavy challenges
- Snide comments
- Selfish play (not passing, shooting all the time)
- Telling people how to play
- Don’t keep score. If someone asks, say you don’t know.
- Lead by example! Track back, share the ball, encourage.
- Focus on your own game and encourage others to do the same.
- Keep an eye on time. Let the lads know when there is 5 and 2 minutes left and end the session on time. Even if there is no one on after us, we want to build a good relationship with our lettings providers and 60 minutes could well be enough for some of the lads.
After the session:
- Shake hands and encourage everyone to do the same. (Ideally off the pitch)
- Make sure you get all equipment back. Ask the lads to bring equipment back in such as cones, balls etc. If someone kicked a ball over, ask them to go and get it.
- Make sure the pitch is left how we found it. Ask for help from the players to move nets back etc.
- ‘Well done lads, have a good week/weekend’
- Make sure no items are left behind.
- Any incidents, issues, or feedback to be shared with the team via the volunteer WhatsApp group or with Dan/Tom directly if appropriate more appropriate.
- Stick a message in the WhatsApp group along the lines of ‘well done, great game lads’.
In the Kitbag:
- Balls (1 game = 3 balls, 2 games = 5 balls, 3 games = 6 balls
- Bibs (washed after each session).
- First aid kit.
5. Session Leaders
Looking after yourself
We are here to help you and we will check in with you regularly. If anything is causing you worry or concern, whether that’s something to with LoveFootball or something outside of LoveFootball, we’re here if you need us.
We know that after a busy week, sometimes it can take its toll running a session and it’s ok to feel that way. Speak to us about and if you need a break, that’s ok!
6. First Aid
If a medical emergency should arise, unless you are a trained first aider, your priority should be to get assistance from someone who is trained. Even if you are a trained first aider, ensure that professional medical help is obtained as a matter of urgency.
The above responsibilities are a guideline which will help us work more effectively. Any issues will be addressed in friendly an informal manor and we will aim to improve any areas that are of concern.
All LoveFootball CIC volunteers and participants are insured under personal accident cover. (Policy available on request).
All LoveFootball C.I.C activities, players, volunteers and directors are insured under public liability cover. (Policy available on request(
All LoveFootball Directors and Volunteers are insured under professional and management liability cover. (Policy available on request).
If you suspect anyone at LoveFootball sessions to be behaving inappropriately, please contact Dan (Dan@love-football.org). Your concern will be handled confidentially.
If someone should report inappropriate behaviour to you, ask the person to contact Dan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and report the concern yourself.