Impact Story by Skilled Volunteer, Nada Savich | Jan 2024
Hannah from Football Journeys came to Link UP London in need of HR support as they wanted to make sure the right procedures were in place to ensure their team could function well and deliver their service safely. Link UP connected the organisation with Skilled Volunteer Cheree Hart, a Human Resource Specialist.
Since 2012 Football Journeys has tackled mistrust by bringing young people from different communities together to share new experiences, find common ground and overcome stereotypes. Football Journeys is growing as an organisation and development of their HR processes was part of a bigger process:
“It helped us to engage with our team with more clarity and certainty.”
Hannah found it useful to have someone with a high level of expertise to support them:
“She had industry experience of HR across different sectors and was able to give us both an overview of the big picture and insight into the intricacies of what we were doing”.
Hannah found that working with Link UP London helped her to have a time-line and set goals for the HR work. They had some policies and contracts in place but were not sure about whether they were appropriate for the way Football Journeys was evolving. Hannah feels that they now work more efficiently as an organisation:
“When there’s more clarity, you can feel confident in the decisions you are making and the ways you communicate.”
Link UP volunteers often act as professional consultants, helping organisations to refine and adapt the way they work. Cheree didn’t provide standard HR documents, she took the time to get to know Football Journeys and what was right for them.
Before bringing in a Skilled Volunteer, Football Journeys had been looking at different HR models. Their work relies on coaches who work with young people. Cheree was able to help Hannah to think through the differences between employing coaches and working with them on a freelance basis:
“She enabled us to understand all the factors involved and to be able to make the decision with confidence.”
Cheree supported Football Journeys to redraft their existing HR policies and contracts and to think about whether the language used was more suitable for a freelancer or a volunteer. Hannah had wanted to create a handbook for freelancers for some time and she was able to make a first draft with Cheree’s help.
“Now the coaches we work with feel clear about their contracts, we all understand our policies, and I feel much more confident in our whole on-boarding process.”
Hannah has found that having good HR practices in place has allowed the organisation to move forward:
“It leaves us space to do what’s important to us – our work with young people!”.