Volunteering and building community spirit have always been important elements of BSAC life of course, but they have never been more important than now.
One positive that has come out of this devastating pandemic is the resurgence of community spirit. The creation of local aid groups and the overwhelming response to the call for NHS volunteers demonstrate that, when the going gets really tough, British people come together to support each other.
Volunteering and building community spirit have always been important elements of BSAC life, of course, but they have never been more important than now.
Giving personal time to help others is valuable and rewarding for all involved. By volunteering, you are providing much-needed support for other members or clubs, enhancing your own skills and wellbeing and spreading positivity throughout the community. The kindness and good deeds of members create an amazing ripple effect.
Everyone’s day-to-day experience is different right now, of course. Some people are busier than ever juggling work and home-schooling or working endless hours as a key worker, others may be furloughed from work with time on their hands. If you do have some time you may have already found yourself a volunteering opportunity. If not here’s a list of remote volunteering opportunities which may work for you.
Please note that one of the best places to start – if you are a club member - is to simply ask your club how you can help, but here are ideas for all, including Direct members…
Please contact BSAC HQ to volunteer to be part of the nationally-coordinated programme of training webinars. The more instructors that come forward, the more capacity we have to deliver a wide-varied programme appealing to all members. We’d love to hear from you!
You could contribute to the new series of short videos designed to help members hone specific skills at home. These videos have been created as an aid to fellow BSAC members and are designed as a supplement to the core BSAC training programme. Contact Mark Paisey to get involved.
Instructor in a club?
Talk to your club about helping to deliver online theory lessons to fellow club members. Please remember, if clubs are happy for their online doors to be opened to all members, they can add their online training events to the central training listings on bsac.com.
Talk to your club’s Diving Officer or Training Officer about how you could help support members to progress their training. Club members who you think are ready may just need a nudge to take their next training steps. Prepare such members so they can move forward with online training now and complete the course when restrictions permit.
Look at your own Personal Development Plan. Just like members, you could start planning now. Focus on what you want to teach and the needs of your club. For example, your club may lack members qualified to drive the RIB, so how about Diver Coxswain Award or Approved Boat Handling Instructor or both? What about becoming a First Aid for Divers Instructor? Before you know it you can be the resident expert in the club!
Not an instructor?
Take steps to become one! The BSAC system results in members teaching fellow members, which is hugely rewarding for all. The bond divers have with each other is incredible, it often lasts for years and teaching only strengthens this. Look at intro sessions on becoming an instructor in the training webinar series or contact BSAC to find out more and get started. You can find out more about becoming an instructor online.
Have a specialist subject?
There are many knowledgeable speakers in the BSAC community. Could you speak on a topic of interest to other members? If so, please contact BSAC to be part of the special interest webinar series. So far, topics covered have included immersion pulmonary oedema (IPO), various fascinating wrecks including the world’s first mechanically powered submarine, and marine life talks.
Photographer or videographer?
If you have great pictures or videos of UK or overseas club diving or snorkelling, this could be very helpful to help promote your club or the BSAC community generally. We’re sure your club would be thrilled to use it on its social channels or website, and BSAC HQ would definitely be interested to help engage more people in its community! Please email BSAC marketing if you’d like to share your work.
Note: if your images or footage feature other members, especially children and vulnerable adults, please seek permission before sharing these with us.
Have technical know-how?
Your club may need to help with setting up training webinars, online chats, quizzes or other ways to help members keep connected. Find more ideas for engaging your club members online.
Simply have time and enthusiasm?!
Great, these are the most valuable traits for volunteering! If this is you, contact your club as it will likely have many things you could get involved with. These could include:
- Help in researching future club trips or holidays
- Help in researching future shore diving options
- Help in running online quizzes or other initiatives to keep members engaged during this time
- Help to upgrade the club’s website presence
Please contact your club, region or BSAC HQ for any further volunteering guidance.