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Volunteering with All-Aboard

Situated in the heart of Bristol and the historic Bristol Docks, All-Aboard is able to work with the community to break down the barriers perceived to accessing watersports.

picture of man being hoisted into access boat with support








All-Aboard has been built by countless volunteers’ hard work and dedication, allowing us to offer a range of adaptable sessions to the public, with highly trained instructors and volunteers at an affordable price.

Volunteers are a core and fundamental part of our charity and we simply could not function without them. From welcoming visitors, to rigging and maintaining boats, taking photos and working with disabled service users, volunteering with us is rewarding, fun and allows you to develop new skills.

“Today was one of the best days we have ever had together. A level playing field which is rare. The volunteer was incredible and so in tune , making everyone feel comfortable and equal.” Parent, 2022

Interested in volunteering with All-Aboard

** Currently looking for a volunteer who can volunteer regularly during the week with a powerboat level 2 licence**


We are in need of volunteers with the following skills:

  • Rowing Instructor – to help us offer rowing to people with Visual Impairment’s
  • Paddle Instructor – to help with mainstream and charitable sessions
  • Sailing Instructor – to help with mainstream and charitable sessions.
  • Powerboat Instructors – to help us run our Powerability scheme for people with disabilities, to run our youth powerboat sessions and to support our charitable private sessions when we offer powerboat harbour trips to groups with disabilities.
  • Powerboat Level 2 drivers or Safety boat drivers who can volunteer during the week regularly – to help us deliver watersport sessions.
  • Rowers who can row on Sundays

Unfortunately, we are currently not in the position to accept any applications where the volunteers has no or little experience with watersports. Anyone with a RYA Powerboat level 2 or RYA Safety boat Certificate please get in touch to see if we have any opportunities to offer something.

If you have a watersport qualification (in particular a RYA Powerboat Level 2 course) or specific unique skills that you think will be of benefit to us, then please complete this Volunteer Application Form application and return it to [email protected].

If we are unable to offer you a volunteering role then we can keep your application and put you on our waiting list until a position opens up. Please state in the email if you are happy for us to keep your application.

If you do not have any watersport experience, then we would encourage you to work on developing skills in this area and attend some courses. Please see below to read of how else you can support our charity.

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

Recently we ask why they volunteer with us. Volunteers Quotes on Why They Volunteer.


What to expect when volunteering

In the event that we have a volunteer position to offer, once we receive your application you will be invited down for a trail session. After this we will meet to discuss how you got on, dates and times you can support us. If you would like to proceed and become a volunteer, we will contact the referees provided in your application, ask you to complete a DBS form and give you a centre induction.

All volunteers an instructors must complete our compulsory training: First Aid, Safeguarding and Disability Awareness. Your first 6 sessions will be a probationary period were we will ‘buddy’ you up and check in to see how you are getting on. Once you have volunteered for 6 sessions you will be sent an online voucher where you can book onto the next available compulsory training courses.

Please note: You cannot volunteer without any references, a DBS check, or if you fail to complete the compulsory training.

Volunteer Roles

  • Boat & Premises Management Assistant
  • Water Activity or Instructor (including working with participants with and without additional needs)
  • Powerboat Driver (a Powerboat Level 2 qualification is required)
  • Meeter & Greeter
  • Photographer
  • Events Support inc refreshments
  • Sailability/Accessibility Assistant

Other ways which you can support our Charity

  • Fundraising – You can choose All-Aboard as your charity to complete a sponsored event in order to raise money for our cause. (i.e. bake sale, sponsored swim etc.).
  • Promotion – Word of mouth is very powerful. If you are able to display any of our posters, leaflets or simply advise people of our services, we would be very grateful. It will enable us to reach more individuals who would benefit from our services.
  • Donations – Whether your donation may be financial or material (i.e. new life jackets, helmets, boats, office furniture), donations enable us to keep our doors open and reach more people within the community.
  • Social Media – You can help us spread the word of any events, fundraisers, open days, courses or our success stories by sharing our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.
  • Charity of the Year – By choosing us as your charity of the year to raise fund for would help us tremendously. The watersports industry is expensive and ensuring our centre is accessible creates a lot of costs. The financial support of choosing us as your charity of the year helps us to continue working with the community.
  • Easy Fundraising – Easy Fundraising is a site which allows you to shop on thousands of popular online retailers and donate a percentage of the cost to a chosen charity. If you chose All-Aboard as your charity then we can receive a donation from the retailer every time you shop, at no extra cost to you.
  • Funding – If you are aware of any funding bids which our charity would be eligible for then please email us with the information.
  • Feedback – If you had a positive experience with us please leave a comment on our Facebook page or send us in a quote which you would be happy for us to use when writing bids.


Celebrating our volunteers

Mike C – Water-based Volunteer

“I had three hours of fun and learning”

“My first experience of All-Aboard was after signing up for the over 50+ rowing sessions. I soon knew this was a group of people and an organisation I wanted to stay involved with. Volunteering seemed a smart move. Seeing people of all ages and abilities participating in the Watersports on offer is amazing, for some of the clients this can be a challenging and uplifting experience. It is brilliant being part of their journey. All-Aboard provides opportunities and support to all its volunteers”.

Tim is now a highly skilled volunteer instructor and works with a range of disabled and mainstream groups.