Guest blog by Rachel Waterman, a member of the London 2012 Nations and Regions Group team.
The people I met in Cardiff on a wet Tuesday in September do.
As anyone that knows me will tell you, I feel very strongly – both personally as a proud Cheshire lass and professionally as a member of the Nations and Regions Group team – that the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games are the UK’s Games hosted in London. So, on Tuesday 14 September – the day before the applications for generalist volunteering roles went live – I spent the morning in a Cardiff McDonalds restaurant (the company are LOCOG’s presenting partner for their volunteering programme) and the afternoon in the fabulous new Cardiff library promoting the Games Maker programme and asking people to carefully consider if Games-time volunteering was for them.
It’s important that the volunteers that help deliver the Games in 2012 are from all over the UK and so LOCOG organised a Games Maker roadshow with an event in each of the UK’s 12 nations and regions to help people understand what being a Games Maker entailed, how they could apply to be one and, crucially to help enable a volunteer legacy from the Games – how they can get involved in volunteering in their local community right now.
The morning was spent talking to the press and public about why we were in Cardiff and what London 2012 meant for the people of Wales. We were joined by Arthur Emyr, Wales’ Nations and Regions Group Coordinator who spoke about, amongst other things, the Welsh companies who had won London 2012 related work such as Euroclad who have made the cladding for the Olympic Stadium.
In the afternoon, we were ‘blessed’ with rain which meant we got to talk to lots of people as they came into the library to shelter. This time, we were accompanied by Amele Tukandra from Newport Volunteer Centre who did an excellent job of promoting all the ‘other’ volunteering opportunities that are available in the area. The increased interest in volunteering generated by London 2012 has the ability to galvanise the volunteering sector and the enthusiasm that we saw from people wanting to be a Games time volunteer or get involved in a project which could make a difference to their communities was overwhelming.