The Butley Ferry


A charity which depends on unpaid volunteers must provide a compelling experience. This story came from work as a Trustee of the Alde & Ore Association one of whose activities is the sponsorship of the 16th century Butley Ferry. Ten years ago it needed a new infrastructure, greater awareness and , with just one regular oarsman, more people. In addition to upgrading the boat and the hards , we focused on making the unpaid work of a volunteer oarsman something that active people want to do. Actions included appointing volunteer managers for safety and infrastructure, publicity and rostering. Then making the job more user friendly with easier systems. Creating a distinctive identity including a 16th C hat for volunteers and providing an annual end of season lunch for now 18 volunteers (17 men and, in 2014, the first woman). At this event a ‘Ferryman of the Year’ Award is announced. It’s become a fun team to be a member of.

There is no shortage of volunteers and revenue has risen 8 fold since these changes began.