The Outdoor Swimming Society is always on the look out for enthusiastic, dynamic and motivated people to fill a wide variety of roles. The OSS is a not-for-profit organisation and unless otherwise mentioned, all roles are voluntary.
You will be given the freedom to work independently in an area you excel at and be expected to act on your own initiative, carrying through any projects to agreed timescales without a boss telling you what to do. However, a friendly team of people who are all passionate about swimming outdoors will be on hand, and we work together to drive outdoor swimming forward. We need people who can commit to deadlines and have the time and energy to really throw themselves into the role. Unless otherwise stated positions are unpaid (the rewards vary between being creative, doing something you are passionate about, making a difference, and helping other swimemrs).
If you are interested in any of the positions below, e-mail volunteer manager Jamie Cross with one or two ideas of how you would fill the role. If there is anything you'd like to see the OSS do, and you can do it, please let Jamie know - we're open to ideas.
Help spread the word and encourage more people to escape chlorinated captivity.
Job: The successful planning, management and delivery of one of the countries leading open water swims, the Dart10k, a 10km swim down the river Dart in Devon for up to 800 swimmers.
To take leading responsibility in putting on an event that runs on time, to budget, providing a safe, inspiring and enjoyable event experience for participants and event partners. The event is a mixture of highly practical water safety issues, and highly creative delivery.
Management of it takes around 40 days a year, spread over the year. Tickets go on sale in March, and the event is held in August/ September (pencilled 2nd August 2014). The event manager is paid a set fee. The job is home-based.
The OSS has the desire and potential to deliver further events, with the manager a potential co-creator.
For further details, download a job description here. Applications are welcomed and will initially be taken up until November 7th.
The Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) is a groundbreaking not for profit organisation that has been a key player in the establishment and explosion of the wild swimming movement since 2006. Using the media (radio, TV and print) and social media the OSS has changed public perception of swimming in rivers, lakes and seas, and founded a thriving subculture of wild swimmers.
We are now looking for a few talented and inspiring individuals to work with us in 2014 to take the movement on to the next level, and help inspire and inform swimmers worldwide through our various platforms, such as www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com, www.wildswim.com and our facebook group.
You may be an experienced in your field or a graduate or media student looking for an opportunity to use their developing skills in writing, news reporting, marketing, and using social media, and to fill their CV with good solid achievements that will contribute to their wider job searching.
Roles are self-defined by the volunteers to a large extent, but your role may be:
- The creation and daily/weekly maintenance of a media newsfeed of swimming related stories on the OSS website and OSS Facebook site.
- Monthly contribution of highly readable news stories and interviews to the OSS website and newsletter (see also "writers" below). Our readership has a broad and varied interest in all things related to water, so this may include investigative news stories (for example on inland access and ecology), interviews (for example, with swimmers), book and culture reviews, and fitness and training information pertinent to swimmers.
- Developing the wildswim.com map in terms of content, profile and worldwide use. There are various roles within this project: writing up existing content and putting it online, working with selected swimmers to put their information online, and a more proactive and marketing role: using social and other media to increase worldwide use.
If you can help grow the swimmers network, with a view to increasing both the range of swimming experiences available to people and the locations. please email Jamie Cross, Volunteer Manager with how you can help.
We fully appreciate the huge boost great design gives any campaign idea or piece of merchandise, and how it changes people's understanding of our messages.
Have a design idea for a tshirt or hoodie (or any other item you'd like to see in the OSS shop)?
Please send it in and you may see your design on riverbanks across the UK (and Germany, where we have a surprising number of fans).
OSS merchandise earns a small income for the society, which we would like to grow.
Send to Jamie Cross, volunteer manager.
We have the campaigns, the ideas, the enthusiasm and a huge grassroots following (17,000 on the newsletter, over 10,000 on facebook)... but everything we do could be reach a far bigger audience, and achieve a far bigger platform if there was someone on the team with the time and talent for marketing.
The more followers the OSS has, the bigger the network behind the OSS Inland Access group (all campaigning for greater rights and inland access to swimmers in their area), and the more we all know about where to go swimming.
If you are that person you will have ideas of your own of where to start which we would love to hear. It may be something like using social media to attract more users to the swim map, www.wildswim.com, a free wild worldwide swim map. Or plan and run a media campaign over summer 2014.
Most often all your marketing channels will need to be achieved through a quid pro quo or free. We have a lot of uncalled on favours to exercise in swimming, as we do market practically every swim event, lido and triathlon training venue in the land via our site, for free. If you want to generate an income for yourself to complete this role by charging for OSS advertising, that could be something that you work towards after a trial period as a volunteer of at least 3-6 months but realistically your heart needs to be in it predominately as a volunteer.
Contact Jamie Cross, Volunteer Manager.
Training tips, inspiring monthly profiles of swimmers, book profiles, or news stories on swimming in the arts and media: the OSS readership are always grateful to writers who provide them with interesting water related stories.
If you are a talented writer who can write to brief and deadline and who would like to contribute to the open water movement in this country, please get in touch. We love having interesting thinkers contribute to our website.
Your stories will reach an audience of 17,000 (newsletter).
We need writers with different skills - so whether your interest in writing and swimming is historical, literary, narrative, nature-based or technique, fitness or training based, please get in touch.
If you are interested, please file 500 words on a swimming related story you'd like to see in the next newsletter, or - just to show us your writing - about your last swim or why you love swimming. If your news story requires more research than you are able to do, please file a brief, introductory paragraph, and research plans.
Contact Jamie Cross.
This is just an idea that is waiting for someone to make it happen.
Lidos around the country need more swimmers. Through the OSS platform and network a talented individual can help them.
For example, you could provide a central point of contact for struggling lidos to come for information on how to stay open and the role would include the following:
- Researching lidos that have successfully avoided closure, and using their experience to develop a blueprint strategy for others to follow.
- Working with community groups to preserve the nation's lidos.
- Maintaining a contact database of lido groups to enable cross-communication.
- Working with our media team to produce press releases and other campaign documents to raise awareness of lidos.
- public engagement
- sponsorship/ funding
If you have the skills to tackle this role, we would love to hear from you. Please contact volunteer manager Jamie Cross.
The central aim of the OSS is to get more people swimming outdoors.
One of the ways we do this is by having a series of regional reps that act as central points of focus in their area.
At the end of Summer 2013, we had about 20 regional reps, from the South West to Argyll. Most run groups that have their own strong identities, such as Devon and Cornwall Wild Swimmers, but that attract a lot of members through the OSS network. More are always welcome.
As a regional rep you will:
- Act as a focal point in your area, coordinating at least 3 social swims a year
- Contribute swims in your area to the wildswim.com map, and use the map to organise local swims in your area
- Maintain a presence on OSS facebook, signposting swimmers in the right direction for the regular queries and posting your events
- Operate under the terms of our Swim Responsibility Statement, which protects you and us legally from assuming responsibility for any swimmers
- Add to the sum total of human fun
- Be part of a movement which aims to establish more inland beaches, greater access to free swimming in rivers and lakes, and more riverbank clubs
All regional reps become part of a team. We will provide you with advice on organising a social swim, and help you advertise and promote your event through Facebook and the OSS newsletter, and in return rely on you to maintain the good reputation of the OSS.
Reps need initiative, enthusiasm, swimming common sense and sociability. If you're interested in helping more people discover their local wild swimming spot, please get in touch and let us know where you live and swim, and how you would get more people involved.
The rep network is informal - there's no organisation, no committee, no formality at all.
Last updated: September 2013.