MEET THE TEAM
PaddlePlus is run entirely by volunteers, from driving the minibus to leading our members down Grade 4 rapids. No one at the club gets paid for their time. Any member can join the army of people that help run the club. We're always looking for new pairs of hands that can be put to task on, and off the water. Volunteering at PaddlePlus is fun and rewarding - ask anyone.
INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING?
Let's get moving!
PaddlePlus is run by its members, for its members. Our volunteer coaches, admin and helpers are what makes the club viable.
We support each other to deliver the exciting and fun activities the club provides for us all. We offer our time to volunteer - providing everything from coaching sessions, day/weekend trips to shopping for the summer BBQs we all love.
Due to the inherent risk associated with paddlesport, we need to support all those that wish to help out with training and supervision, so that everyone is safe both on and off the water. We have defined the roles that our volunteers undertake, along with what training and support is provided to fulfil the role to the best of their ability.
You can read more about the roles below.
Interested? Drop us a line or talk to any volunteer on a club session.
Bank Support volunteers receive a local induction from a qualified coach, which supports them to aid paddlers choose the correct equipment, get kitted up and launch their craft. They are also trained in bank based safety procedures and how to keep people safe around the waters’ edge.
People that take on this role are often parents or carers who are keen to help out at the club while their children are paddling, however, anyone can take on the challenge.
SHELTERED WATER (OR POOL) HELPER
People taking on this role help our leaders and coaches keep people safe on the water. They are competent paddlers with Foundation Safety and Rescue training who have received safeguarding awareness training from our welfare officers in addition to the bank support training.
These people are often members who enjoy paddling and are happy to provide that extra pair of eyes, ears and hands on the water. Some have received additional training to run introductory sessions with small groups of up to 6 people. These sessions are always conducted within range of a qualified leader or coach.
SHELTERED WATER LEADER
Members taking on this role have received professional British Canoeing training in leading groups of paddlers on journeys. They can take up to 8 people in single person crafts or up to 16 in doubles.
These members will have undertaken one of several formal qualifications which assures the club that they are competent leaders. As well as their leadership qualifications, they will have attended First Aid training, and if they are working with children or young people, then they will also have completed a Disclosure and Barring Service check in line with British Canoeing guidance.
Many of these members started at the club as Helpers and have progressed with the support of other members to take on the leader role. They are able to lead people at pool sessions, rivers, canals or lakes within the British Canoeing definition for sheltered water.
With a sheltered water helper added to their group, they can double the number of people they take, including the Helper.
At PaddlePlus we offer training on the safety of weirs which is based on an adapted Rescue3 and National Resource Wales Weir Assessment System. This training is available to all our leaders and coaches and once complete allows them conduct risk assessments and to safely lead groups over weirs. The training is also available to members for personal skills
MODERATE WATER LEADER - GRADE 2(3)
The Moderate water environment includes moving white water up to Grade 3. Members who have progressed their paddling and leadership skills further than Sheltered water can be supported to obtain formal qualifications that allow them to take groups on Moderate water journeys. They have enhanced safety skills gained from attending a White Water Safety and Rescue course and will hold a 16 hour outdoor first aid qualification.
Generally, these leaders have craft specific qualifications, for example Whitewater Kayak Leaders or Canoe Leader and can lead groups of up to 6 kayaks or 4 canoes.
These leaders have proven their skills in the Moderate water environment and therefore as a club we allow them to also operate in the Sheltered water environment.
Where they have craft specific awards in the moderate water environment, they can operate as leaders in other craft when on sheltered water, so long as they have demonstrated their personal paddling ability in that craft type, for example by undertaking a personal performance award.
The club can support you to progress your paddling and leadership skills to obtain this qualification, just like most of our other leaders.
ADVANCED WATER LEADER - GRADE 3(4) OR 4(5)
These Leaders are at the top of their game, they have demonstrated that they are able to look after 4 fellow paddlers on Advanced water, providing them with a challenging, yet safe experience. These leaders undertake further training, such as an Advance White Water Safety and Rescue course, which provides them with the knowledge and skills to operate in the advanced water environment. They will have obtained the Advance White Water Leader qualification.
These leaders have proven their skills in the advanced water environment and therefore as a club we allow them to also operate on sheltered and moderate water.
Where they have craft specific awards in the advanced water environment, we allow them to operate as leaders in other craft when on sheltered water, as long as they have demonstrated their personal paddling ability in that craft type, for example by undertaking a personal performance award.
We have links with performance coaches that can support you to obtain this qualification if this is your aspiration.
The role of a coach is to work with paddlers to develop their skills and abilities through the use of recognised techniques. Our volunteer coaches work with paddlers who want to gain or improve their paddlesport skills. This may include coaching beginners new to the sport, or paddlers looking to develop their skills in the given discipline/environment. Coaches are able to plan, deliver and review progressive sessions safely, effectively and independently.
Our volunteer coaches have undertaken significant additional training which complements their leadership skills. Coaching skills are discipline and environment specific and we detail these on the volunteer members page.
OUR OTHER ROLES
We have a number of other off the water roles which people can volunteer to support the club with, from driving the minibus to admin.