Gateshead Council learningSkills trains hundreds of volunteers for 2019 World Transplant Games

2nd August 2019 Date of publication

Gateshead Council learningSkills have deliver volunteer training as part of the 2019 World Transplant Games using innovative on-line solutions to ensure the hundreds of volunteers have the skills and knowledge they would need to be effective volunteers.

Gateshead Council learningSkills were commissioned to deliver volunteer training as part of the 2019 World Transplant Games, due to be held in NewcastleGateshead in August 2019. With a very limited budget, they were asked to train over 500 people to be volunteers, focusing on the skills and knowledge.

Melanie Crosby from Gateshead Council learningskills said "It was immediately apparent that to train so many people face-to-face would be impossible given the budget and time limitations. So, we focused on developing an online programme that could be easily accessed by the volunteers, was not too time consuming but focused on developing the skills and knowledge they would need to be effective volunteers.

After consultation with our colleagues in Gateshead Council and the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, they decided to focus on four main themes: customer service, health and safety, equality and diversity and problem solving. As a NOCN/One Awards centre who had delivered NOCN Qualifications for many years, it was clear that the NOCN Skills for Employment Training and Personal Development Qualification would enable them to create a bespoke training programme allowing to focus all of the learning outcomes on the agreed themes for the Transplant Games and could use ESFA funding to deliver.


The training started with a simple Powerpoint presentation that contained all the information they needed to know on each theme and then a workbook that they could complete electronically or download and write into. This was all hosted on a specially designed website, dedicated just for the World Transplant Games training.

All the training was optional, as we recognised that all the volunteers had very busy lives. However were delighted when over 60% enrolled- over 300 volunteers. We have had some excellent feedback from the volunteers, stating that the training had been very informative, easy to follow and would definitely help them in their role.

To consolidate this learning, induction sessions for the volunteers we organised that again focused on reinforcing some of the knowledge and skills needed including a QR Code scavenger hunt around Gateshead Stadium linked to the online training and other information about the Games.

In addition, we threw in some fun activities such as singing the national anthem and saying ‘hello and welcome’ in 5 different languages! Teams of 5 worked together, problem solving, building positive relationships with each other and, most importantly, having fun. Some feedback from the induction training was:

  • “The most fun we’ve had doing a treasure hunt with strangers!”
  • “Scavenger hunt was perfect”
  • “Excellent session- more interesting than listening to a talk”
  • “Best induction training I’ve had!”
  • “Excellent induction- very well thought out and organised. I wouldn’t change a thing” 

Fabienne Bailey Managing Director of One Awards said “This is a fantastic achievement by Gateshead Council learningSkills using innovative learning methods to engage the volunteers to develop skills bespoke to this event and gain a recognised NOCN Qualification as part of their training, we wish all the volunteers and NewcastleGateshead Initiative good luck for the forthcoming games.

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