Why does gliding need volunteers?

Volunteers have always played a vital part in gliding. Walk into any gliding club and practically everyone you meet will be a volunteer – whether it’s the person who welcomes you when you arrive, teaches you to fly, who launches the gliders, or who cuts the grass. They are rightly described as the lifeblood of our sport. It would simply grind to a halt without them.

Why do people volunteer?

People’s reasons for volunteering in gliding vary from person to person. Some common reasons include:

  • A love of gliding
  • The chance to learn new skills
  • Health benefits of being out on an airfield
  • Opportunity to socialise and work with people of all backgrounds
  • The opportunity to use their professional skills to help their club and/or colleagues
  • Enjoy the buzz and excitement of being involved
  • Want to support something their children are involved in
  • Want to give something back to the sport

Most volunteers in gliding get involved as participants first and then become volunteers.  There are also volunteers who choose not to fly – they just enjoy being connected with the sport.

Sports research in 2014 demonstrated that sports volunteers get a boost to their happiness and well-being through their involvement.

Watch our short clip 'how a gliding club works'

How to get involved as a volunteer

Helping others at your gliding club with something that really interests you is a great way to start. Its also a great way of getting to know the other members. If in due course you feel that you would like to do more or take on a specific task as a volunteer, talk to someone at the club who is in a leadership role. It’s very likely that they will be delighted that you’ve offered!

Clearly there are a few volunteer roles which require a lot of gliding experience and formal training – for example, flying with passengers and teaching people to fly. If you think you have the necessary experience, have a chat with your club Chief Flying Instructor.

If you are not a member of a gliding club but want to volunteer, please contact the gliding club, let them know you’d like to help out, and ask if someone could get in touch with you. You might prefer to drop in and have a chat. You can find contact details of your nearest gliding club here.

Volunteering (and other) opportunities

You can find volunteering and other opportunities information here.

Will I be safe as a volunteer?

Everyone at a gliding club is expected to follow the rules which are designed to manage risk at an acceptable level. You can learn more here. Check with your club management to find out more about how they support their volunteers.