The main ethos of The Countryman’s Club is based around the ideas of resilience and recovery. Consequently we strive to work in genuine and meaningful partnership with all countrymen, and the distinction between volunteers and participants is often subtle.
The contributions of both volunteers and countrymen to the running of the club, and delivery of the sessions, are of equal value, and the benefits gained through participation in either role are likely to be similar in terms of enhanced self-esteem, sense of belonging, and reinforced individual identity.
We have volunteers undertaking roles during sessions as farming, rural skills and craft activity facilitators and demonstrators. Volunteers also undertake activities in promoting the club at community and village level, and in project administration, and events planning and delivery.
There are also great advantages, both in terms of credibility and familiarity, in having older people from our local rural communities at the forefront of outreach, promotion, fundraising and creation of public awareness, and indeed project reporting activities amongst partner organisations and agencies.
The contribution of volunteers to the overall delivery of the project, and achieving both planned and unexpected outcomes, has been of paramount importance and value. As the club has developed and progressed, the countrymen and volunteers have gained in confidence, and played an increasingly important role in keeping session activities fresh, challenging, relevant, accessible and enjoyable.