SPOTLIGHT: Volunteer Squad

SPOTLIGHT: Volunteer Squad

The first installation of SMiSA's "SPOTLIGHT:" series focuses on the Volunteer Squad, who have made an outstanding difference to the matchday experience of all supporters, along with contributing to the reduction of St. Mirren's environmental impact.

SMiSA would like to give a huge thanks to all members of the Volunteer Squad for their time and efforts, which does not go unnoticed!

More information about their work can be found on the club's website at

The Volunteer Squad are always looking for more people to lend a hand. If you feel you could contribute in any way whatsoever, please contact Jim Crawford by email at [email protected]

Who are the Volunteer Squad?

The squad was set up to allow supporters to make a positive contribution and save the club money by carrying out tasks around the ground that might otherwise have been done by contractors. There are now over 20 people signed up to the volunteer squad with a dozen or more regularly involved in match day clean ups.

Volunteer Squad co-ordinator Jim Crawford has described below the history behind the squad, and their purpose within the club:

"When we played at Love Street the club was in decline toward the end of the 1990s and required new investment but in order to encourage possible candidates it was felt we should spruce the ground up a bit hence the creation of the volunteers. As time moved on and a new board were appointed there was still a need for volunteer involvement but by 2006 the wheels were set in motion to totally transform St Mirren's fortunes by finding a buyer for St Mirren Park and reinvesting the purchase price in a new stadium that would propel our club back round the table with the top clubs in Scotland.

2009 and the grand opening heralded the dawn of St Mirren's bright new future in Greenhill Road. Naturally, the need for volunteer involvement declined as the stadium was planned and built on low maintenance. Once settled into our new home it became evident that in order to keep up with the club's aspirations a new approach was required. That new approach eventually came in the form of a supporters buyout and the realisation that we fans would not only have a say in the running of the club but we would have to become more proactive. The wonderful thing about our involvement in the club is it gives us an appreciation of what is required to maintain the safety and security of our investment for generations to come. We cannot rely on a major investor stepping in to bail the club out in a time of crisis therefore we have to run the club on a prudent basis, hence the St Mirren Volunteer Squads determination to be hands on with helping and supporting the wonderful staff who may be limited in numbers but unlimited in enthusiasm. The one thing the volunteers will not do and that is to impose upon anyones employment within the club, we are there to assist and possibly enhance the fantastic work they do and we do so with pride and satisfaction."
Members of the Squad following a litter collection

What Do They Do?

Some of the main roles of the Volunteer Squad recently include:

Stadium Maintenance:
During the close season the volunteer squad will sweep and wash the terraces, clean seats, and pressure wash the stadiums perimeter fence. Seats are also checked for bird droppings and cleaned on Fridays before games. They also put reserved stickers on seats and in the past have helped answer phones at busy times in the ticket office. The volunteers have also carried out work at Ralston when requested. Through Jim Crawford the squad have become involved in helping with the food bank and winter clothing collections. Based on a rate per volunteer of £10 per hour, they are probably saving the club around £24,000 per year.

Post-Match Litter Clearing:
The squad are responsible for clearing litter from the stands after matches. They were also responsible, in cooperation with the club, for instigating and realising the installation of mixed recycling and general waste bins throughout the stadium and for establishing and promoting the #BuddieBinIt initiative.

Promoting Environmental Awareness and Partnerships
The Volunteer Squad are collaborating with the Club to promote new environmental partnerships and encourage increased environmental awareness. Some of these exciting partnerships are expanded upon further down this article.

#BuddieBinIt Initiative


St Mirren Football Club takes its social responsibilities very seriously and we are one of the first senior clubs in Scotland to introduce a custom-made waste and recycling scheme for our stadium to help us minimize our environmental impact.

#BuddieBinIt is a joint initiative between the club and supporters from the volunteer group that cleans the stadium after each home game. Dozens of bags of rubbish are collected – nearly a thousand over a season - with too much work required to allow waste and recycling to be separated: until now. 

#BuddieBinIt now enables supporters to dispose of their rubbish properly instead of simply leaving it at their seat and to separate waste and recycling. We have installed pairs of bins around the stadium – one for general waste and one for mixed recycling – and these are located pitch-side and underneath each stand. The recycling bins take plastic, paper / card, cans and glass but most waste can be recycled; for example: all hot and cold drinks containers from the food kiosks including lids can go in the mixed recycling bin. Anyone not sure of an item should put it into the black bin for general waste.

#BuddieBinIt is just the first in what we hope will be a series of initiatives to help the club reduce its carbon footprint and make a contribution to the great challenge of our times; climate change. But this initiative is not just good for the planet, its also good for the club in helping us reduce costs and become more business efficient.

A working group involving the club, the volunteer group and Zero Waste Scotland (the agency that helps Scotland to maximise its impact on climate change) will continue to develop ideas and put these into action in order to help us achieve our aim.

For #BuddieBinIt to work we need your help and we need it over the course of the season. We ask you please to take your rubbish with you at the end of each game and dispose of it in the appropriate bins on your way out and to do this consistently after every game.

Remember... Mixed Recycling = Red Bin, General Waste = Black Bin.


Environmental Partnerships

St Mirren FC is currently working in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland (the national agency helping organisations to reduce their environmental impact), Keep Scotland Beautiful, Pie Sports and Enva (the club's waste contractors) to progress our environmental initiatives.
Jim Crawford and Keith Lasley represented the club (chosen because of our recent initiatives) on the panel of an online "Climate Action In Sports" event organised by Keep Scotland Beautiful on 28/09/23. The footage of this seminar can bew viewed below, with Jim and Keith featuring from around 18 minutes in!
We aim to promote our initiatives and look for opportunities to collaborate with other organisations including Renfrewshire Council, The Scottish Government, The Scottish Football Association, The Scottish Professional Football League, Friends Of The Earth (Scotland) and The Scottish Football Supporters Association.
There is much potential positive publicity to be gained by the club if they choose to highlight the the work and environmental developments done in cooperation with the volunteers. There is more work required, but St Mirren are definitely leaders in Scotland in terms of environmental awareness and actions.