Volunteering at Dell Quay – an overview of what’s involved

There are many, many ways to volunteer at Dell Quay.  Volunteering is at the heart of the Club - a club for the members, run by the members.  Volunteering is also one of the best ways to meet new people and get to know more about the Club.  So, if you are new or have been away from the club for a while, please do take the plunge and volunteer! If you are unsure of where to start or have any questions, please contact any member of the general committee for more information.
The table below gives you an idea of what is involved in the various roles and whether you need any training.  There are three main areas:

Helping on the Day – these are the roles which support various events on the day – racing, social sailing, paddle boats (rowing, sups and kayaks), regattas and open meetings as well as club social events.  You volunteer for these roles through ‘the Duties Management Tool’.  We ask that all members volunteer for at least 2 of these roles.

Management of the Club – the club is managed by the General Committee. It delegates certain areas of responsibility to the Sailing, Cruiser and House Committees.  Details of these committees appear in the front of the yearbook.
Behind the scenes – there is a host of roles involved in behind-the-scenes work - such as physical maintenance, communications, training, yearbook and calendar production.

This overview is intended as a ‘taster’ only - job descriptions and instructions are available on the website and through the Duties Management Tool.  There is also information about some of the roles in the yearbook.

Roles:   Qualifications/training required?  Best part/Challenges  Time involved
1. Helping on the Day      
Duty officer – oversees and coordinates all events at the club on the day of the duty. You are the ‘team leader’ for that day’s volunteers.  You would also be the first point of contact for any emergencies or incidents.

 In house training is provided each year.  Some experience of other duties is advisable. The club also provides refresher training at the beginning of each year.  This is done in conjunction with the galley and race officer refresher training so there’s an opportunity to ‘compare notes with’ and meet other volunteers.

Best part - You will come into contact with all volunteers on the day (so it’s a great way to meet people) and you are pivotal to the day, you also get to show potential new members around.
There’s normally plenty of time for a cup of tea on the balcony and just enjoying being at the Club Challenges - ‘No shows’ can mean helping fill any gaps, but even that can be fun if you’re willing to muck in.

Challenges - ‘No shows’ can mean helping fill any gaps, but even that can be fun if you’re willing to muck in.

 One of the first to arrive and last to leave so can be more than 5 hours.
House Duty – helping to provide refreshments or working in the bar.  Varies from tea, coffee cake to ‘major undertakings’ for social events (e.g a sit-down meal for 60 people).

No qualifications are required.  Each session is run by a galley supervisor who will provide you with some guidance on food hygiene and how the galley or bar operates. Best part - This is a very social duty and is a great way to meet other members and learn more about the club.    Challenges - It’s unpredictable – so you could be run off your feet or twiddling your thumbs, but if the latter there’s always tea on the balcony. Usually 5 hours.
Galley Supervisor - plans the menu for each opening of the galley and supervises the galley and bar service.  Some GS’ also shop for the duty.

1. Food safety level 2 (we normally do this through an online provider – it takes no more than half a day and can be done in short modules – the club pays for this).
2. In house Galley Supervisor training – usually a half-day session at the club covering all you need to know!  

The club also provides mentoring so new Galley Supervisors can shadow an experienced one (or vice versa).  In addition, at the beginning of each season we provide re fresher training.

Best part – as with house duty, it is a very social duty.

Challenges – Being responsible for the galley and bar from open to close.  It can feel like a long day if it’s busy although we encourage all those doing a house duty to ensure they get a break at some point.

Usually 5 hours
Patrol Boat helm and crew – provides assistance to members on the water as well as helping to launch and recover the patrol boat.

The Helm is required to have Power boat level 2 and RYA safety boat. Both of these qualifications are usually offered in house by the club at a very modest cost.  Best part - You’re on the water enjoying the beautiful surrounds of Dell Quay as well as having a great view of the event!
Challenges - You’re on the water and you must be prepared to get into the water if needed!
Usually 5 hours
Race officer/Assistant Race Officer – runs the day’s racing programme, including starts, recording results and dealing with protests. In house training is provided for Race Officers. Assistant Race Officers do not need any training, although the Race Officer’s course would be useful.  Doing ARO duties is a good pre training for being a RO.

Best part – the racers are really appreciative of the fact the RO/ARO are essential for them to have a good race. It’s fun to develop the skills to do this well and there is a lot of satisfaction in having given the racers a really good day out

Challenges – there’s a lot of concentration required at the start and finish; building up experience as ARO is recommended.

Usually 5 hours but can be longer
2. Management of the Club Qualifications/training required?  Best part/Challenges  Time involved
There are four committees at Dell Quay:  
a) The General Committee (management of the club as a whole).
b) The Sailing Committee (responsible for watersports and water related training).
c) The Cruiser Committee (responsible for club cruises, provision of committee boats, socials for cruisers and the Victoria Class (model yachts)).
d) House committee (responsible for the galley, bar and social calendar as well as aspects of the club house).
a) General Committee - some in house training is provided in relation to directors’ duties.  Otherwise, no formal training is required although it is helpful if members have experience from other committees or roles within the club.   For other committees, no qualifications are required. An enthusiasm for the responsibilities of the committee is encouraged (e.g planning social events and parties, helping juniors, racing).  And it is important that volunteers have the time required to fulfill their roles. Best part – you are able to influence the direction of the club. There is also a sense of camaraderie amongst committee members.
Challenges – We’re a volunteer Club and everybody is doing it in their spare time, so sometimes it can take a long time get things agreed, but if you are willing to muck in you can overcome that.
Usually a 2 hour meeting 10 times a year. Other ‘special’ meetings (e.g specific to an event) also occur. The Cruiser committee meets less frequently – about 6-8 times a year.
3. Behind the scenes – keeping the club going      

General Maintenance – you can help maintain the fabric of the club and its assets (ribs, dinghies) by joining any and all of the following

a)‘Working weekends’ where members come together to undertake essential club maintenance. These occur twice a year, usually in February and March.
b)‘Fridays on the Quay’ where members come together on the last Friday of the month to undertake particular projects (and enjoy a packed lunch together).  
c)‘specialist project’ groups are formed on an ‘as needs’ basis (e.g the incredible team who helped to build the new pontoon and balcony).

Specialised maintenance - There are also roles involved in particular aspects of club maintenance:

d) Club Bosun;
e) Workshop Tsar;
f)  Black Shed Tsar;
g) Environmental Tsar.

Support Roles – a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to support the various activities of the Club.  Most of these are listed in the first few pages of the year book and include: Bar co-ordinators, Chichester Harbour Federation and RYA reps, enews and quay news (communications), child safeguarding co-ordinator, membership and berthing secretaries, Honorary Reporting Accountant, Grant Application co-ordinator and the webmaster.


Best part – comradeship and seeing the results of your efforts in improvements to the Club.  

Challenges – It depends on the role, but relatively few: these roles are normally an opportunity to do something worthwhile for the Club, use or develop a skill without the need for being on a Committee

It can be as little as a morning at one of the working weekends to being part of the ‘regular crew’ at Fridays on the Quay.