Volunteering with All-Aboard!

National Volunteers’ Week 2018

As part of National Volunteers Week 2018, we celebrated one of our volunteers each day as a way to showcase just a slice of some of the incredible work that they do to support us.

Friday 1st June

Robin Miller – ‘Shed Man’ and Water Activities

Q What do you help out with at AAW?

I take the Thursday morning over 50s rowing, help out with other rowing and sailing sessions when needed, and spend Tuesdays in the shed maintaining and repairing All-Aboard’s boats.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?

I do it because I enjoy being out on the water and around boats, and All-Aboard is a great way of helping others from all backgrounds and abilities share that enjoyment.

Q What three words you would use to sum up volunteering with AAW?

Sociable, fulfilling and communal

Saturday 2nd June

Anna – Water Activities and ‘Meeter and Greeter’

Q What do you help out with at AAW?

I am a water activity volunteer.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?

I retired from full-time employment and hadn’t planned what to do afterwards.  I came to CSAF at the recommendation of a friend and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I saw volunteers were needed and put myself forward and was accepted.   No stopping me.   I found that not only did I enjoy MYSELF volunteering with able/disabled children and adults but saw how much THEY enjoyed what we did together.   They learn from us as much as we learn from them.  Plus enjoyment all round.  All-Aboard get people out on the water in all weathers to learn many skills with which they can move on to new qualifications in the future if they want to.

Q What three words you would use to sum up volunteering with AAW?

Fun.  Enthusiasm.  Challenges.

Sunday 3rd June

Andy – ‘Shed Man’

Q What do you help out with at AAW?

From building boats and sheds or designing new storage for the instructor station, designing and building boat storage. Standardising the build of a fleet of optimist dinghies.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?

Being bullied in to it by friends. When I retired I had a bit more spare time and been doing charity for 40 odd years. If I don’t have a project I get twitchy so like having things to do. Something that’s problematical I like solving. Started working with my hands again, after flying a desk for 30 odd years flying a desk was nice to get back on the tools but as a qualified electrician I refuse to use electrics. After running my own business for over 40 odd years that’s why I love the woodwork.

Q What three words you would use to sum up volunteering with AAW?

Three words just isn’t enough! Multi-faceted, love the charitable aspect of it, most of the people that are working here don’t get paid, it’s a ‘proper’ charity.

Monday 4th June

Jamie Watson – After School Club Sailing

Q What do you help out with at AAW?
 I’m a volunteer Sailing Instructor for After School Club.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?
Personally, to get out and meet new people who I wouldn’t usually have a chance to get to know. I like to think that I’ve helped more children to have a chance to try sailing and hopefully inspire the next generation.

Q What three words you would use to sum up volunteering with AAW?
Volunteers with AAW are always inclusive, friendly and enthusiastic.

Tuesday 5th June

Jill Markham – Sailability Volunteer

Q What do you help out with at AAW? 
I volunteer on the Sailability sessions.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?
Having worked in education I wanted to continue that contact with people and I love the water. Watersports gives a new confidence and positivity to our clients and volunteers alike. I love the teamwork and am always learning new skills.

Q What three words you would use to sum up volunteering with AAW?
Fun. Sociable. Rewarding

Wednesday 6th June

Mike Chorlton – Activity & Sailability Volunteer 

Q What do you help out with at AAW? 

I am an Activity Volunteer and a Sailability Assistant.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?

I was lured into All-Aboard by my good friend and now ex instructor Ernie Wise. A few years ago he invited me to try an over 55 taster course in sailing, it cost me £3 for three hours which I thought was a wonderful experience. When I came off the water I was asked are you coming back next week, so I thought wow this is good. After a few weeks I was given a R.Y.A. level 3 sailing certificate. Everything about the centre impressed me and I thought ‘how can I keep this going?’, so I offered to volunteer and was duly accepted but not only accepted, I was given so much training P.B.2 , Health and safety, First Aid, Disability Awareness and so much more. My time at All-Aboard has truly been an awesome experience and I enjoy helping others to find the same level of enjoyment.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?

‘Delivering Awesome Experiences’

Thursday 7th June

Lucy Daniels – Volunteer Instructor

Q What do you help out with at AAW?

I help out by volunteering as a Dinghy Instructor on after school clubs on a Wednesday, and have done so before as an Assistant Instructor, I also sometimes help out with holiday club or on weekends.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?

I sort of fell into volunteering, as I kept coming sailing after passing all the youth stages, and ended up helping with the sessions as there was little they could teach me while also instructing beginners. I now enjoy volunteering as it’s really rewarding seeing kids find confidence in themselves and learn a new skill, something I gained from AAW when I learned to sail here. In a way it’s passing on that experience, the joy of sailing and the experience of having a new and quite rare skill.

Q What was your motivation for volunteering for AAW?
Rewarding, hilarious, fun.


There is no doubt that the stretch of water in the heart of Bristol is a super place to be with like minded people offering their help and support to enable people, to access the challenging sport of sailing and now canoeing and rowing.

Being a volunteer with All-Aboard is a fantastic experience, they are what make our organisation the success that it is, we could not function without them. From answering the phone, helping to rig and maintain  boats to taking disabled users out onto the water sailing, canoeing or in the power boats, it is rewarding and great fun.

Volunteer Roles

  • Boat & Premises Management Assistant
  • Water Activity Assistant (including working with able bodied clients and those with additional needs)
  • Powerboat Driver (in order to apply for this role you must have a Powerboat Level 2 qualification)
  • Meeter & Greeter
  • Photographer
  • Events Support inc refreshments
  • Sailability/Accessibility Assistant
  • Peer Mentor (Come on Board/ Rocking the Boat Projects)
  • Minibus Driver (Come on Board/ Rocking the Boat Projects)

What to expect when volunteering for All-Aboard

When we receive your application we will invite you down to meet us and join in a session which interests you. We will ask you to provide us with a referee and to fill in a DBS form.  Once we have had a chat with you and worked out what you would like to gain from volunteering with us we will “buddy” you up with another volunteer  for sessions and start you on some training.  We will ask you to log your volunteer hours whenever you attend and offer you the opportunity to take part in our volunteer log book scheme. This allows you to be rewarded for every 48 hours of volunteering by an opportunity to attend a 6 hour (1 day) in-house training course of your choice, run by All-Aboard Watersports. Examples of courses on offer are: RYA Level 1 Sailing, Learn to Row Stage 1, British Canoeing 1 Star Course, RYA Powerboat Level 1. For 2 day courses, you will either be able to save up your hours, or pay the difference.

Come and join our team. We look forward to hearing from you

For more information or to discuss these roles please contact the office 0117 929 0801 and fill out  the All-Aboard Volunteer Application Form.

Volunteers Experience’s of All-Aboard

Click here and here to read some of our volunteers experience’s of volunteering at All-Aboard!

To learn more about All-Aboard read pages 1 & 2 of the Bristol Evening Post Article.

Voluntary Jobs

We currently do not have any voluntary posts available, however if you have any water sport or powerboat qualifications and would like to be considered please email volunteering@allaboardwatersports.co.uk.