Written by Alden Phillips and it appears in an RFU Publication about Volunteers in Rugby.
When Keighley RUFC opened their new clubhouse and grounds in 1986 the maintenance became the remit of the club. A group of members volunteered to attend to the upkeep on a regular basis. This evolved into the “Wednesday Morning Volunteer Gang” (affectionately known as the Geriatric Playgroup).
The gang has 15-20 volunteers (holidays permitting). They care for the clubhouse and the grounds doing general maintenance, grass cutting, field marking, machinery upkeep and more. The group have a wide range of skills including decorator, joiner, plumber and electrician. Over time, maintenance schedules have been developed and followed. Tasks are shared according to ability, but some volunteers change their chosen tasks as new needs arise.
Wednesday mornings are very sociable with coffee and banter and possibly a pub lunch with a well earned drink. As one member pointed out, it gets him out from under the wife’s feet! They are active supporters (travelling to away games by mini bus), attend club functions and encourage other people to do likewise. Their “bush telegraph” keeps other members up to speed (sometimes quicker than email!).
Over 23 years, these volunteers have saved the club thousands of pounds, but they contribute far more than just labour. The Club Volunteer Coordinator (CVC) and the members of the gang are constantly on the lookout for potential new recruits. The targets are newly retired members and their friends. All are people who enjoy the pleasure of knowing they are contributing to a worthwhile cause – the welfare of the club