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London 2012 Announces Plans to Recruit passionate and Inspirational Volunteers for the Olympics

  • Up to 70,000 volunteers to be recruited for the London 2012 Games
  • Volunteers to be known as Games Makers
  • Pre-identified applicants for specialist roles to apply from 27 July 2010 onwards
  • Applications for generalist roles to open on 15 September 2010
  • Young Games Maker programme for up to 1,500 under-18 year olds opens in 2011
  • McDonald’s announced as Presenting Partner
  • Mayor of London’s London Volunteer scheme opens for registration on 27 July 2010

With almost two years to go until the London 2012 Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) today announces plans to recruit up to 70,000 volunteers for the London 2012 Games.

In the biggest post-war volunteer recruitment campaign in the UK’s history, LOCOG will be looking for dedicated and inspirational people representative of the diversity of London and the UK to apply for a wide variety of volunteer roles.

Sebastian Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: “London 2012 needs brilliant volunteers to help us deliver a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. Our volunteers will be called Games Makers to reflect the important role they will play in staging the 2012 Games. The programme to find our Games Makers will launch on 27 July 2010 and I urge anyone that is interested to come to our website from the day onwards to find out everything they need to know about volunteering in 2012.”

There are two types of Games Maker roles, specialists in areas such as medical services, sport or press operations and generalists, with roles ranging from spectator assistants, uniform distributors and ticket checking.

In addition to these volunteer roles being recruited by LOCOG, the Mayor of London will shortly announce plans for the recruitment of London Volunteers, stationed at key transport hubs, at visitor attractions, and on the streets of the capital to make sure all visitors to London get the best possible welcome during the Games.

With recruitment starting exactly two years before the London 2012 Games, key dates for the application process are:

  • 27 July 2010: applications open for pre-identified applicants for specialist sport, press operations, anti-doping and medical roles and members of a wide range of disability specialist organisations. This is also an opportunity for those interested in the generalist roles to find out if they have what it takes to be a Games Maker via a dedicated section on the London 2012 website. Recruitment also starts on this date for the Mayor’s London Volunteers scheme.
  • 15 September 2010: applications open to the public for generalist roles and continue for specialist roles.

LOCOG today also confirmed that up to 1,500 of the Games Maker roles will be made available for those under the age of 18 through the ‘Young Games Maker’ programme that will be unveiled in July 2011.

The role of volunteers has been integral throughout Olympic history. London pioneered the use of volunteers in the 1948 Games which saw the first official use of unpaid members of the public to help with the Games.

Worldwide Olympic Partner McDonald’s has been appointed as the Presenting Partner for the Volunteer Programme. McDonald’s will use its expertise in customer service and training and nationwide presence to help attract, select and train the diverse team that will be needed to make the 2012 Games a success.

Steve Easterbrook, Chief Executive of McDonald’s UK, said: “We value our people above everything else in our business and it is our ambition to ensure that the 2012 Games volunteers are also highly valued, recognised and celebrated for their efforts and achievements. While nothing quite compares to the bustle and excitement of an action-packed Olympic and Paralympic Games, our employees know a fair bit about working in a fast-paced, busy environment – providing quick and consistent customer service to over two million people each day. We are proud to use this experience to help prepare the volunteers for the unique experience of London 2012 that leaves an enduring volunteering legacy for years to come.”

Hugh Robertson, Sport and Olympics Minister, said: “As I have seen in Turin, Beijing, Vancouver and the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, volunteers are the public face of every major sports event, playing a vital role in the spectator and athlete experience. If London is to be a friendly and successful Games, we will need volunteers of all ages to welcome the world to London and give London 2012 our own distinctive British imprint.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Volunteering for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games, on home soil, is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is the great people of this country, with their warm welcome and ‘can-do’ attitude, on whom the success of our Games will depend. So my message is simple: whether you have a specific skill to offer or simply bags of enthusiasm to get stuck in and lend a hand, be it volunteering in one of the fantastic 2012 Games venues or helping us on the streets of our city – your Games need you!”

LOCOG continues to work closely with the Life-Time UK Alliance to ensure the Games Maker programme is supported by the voluntary sector and will help deliver a lasting legacy to volunteering in the UK.

Justin Davis Smith, Chair of the Life-Time UK Alliance and Chief Executive of Volunteering England, said: “The London 2012 Games offer a unique opportunity to showcase all that is great about volunteering in the UK, and to leave a lasting legacy that will benefit the community for years to come. In association with our partners in the Life-Time UK Alliance, we are delighted to be helping LOCOG to maintain the excitement and energy of the Games long after the last medal has been awarded, through an increase in community participation and engagement in volunteering.”

LOCOG is also working closely with the Trade Union movement to ensure that London 2012 maximises the benefits of its volunteering programme.

Brendan Barber General Secretary TUC, said: “Volunteers embody the spirit of the Olympic and Paralympic Games as much as the athletes. A Games-time volunteer experience will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. The TUC is delighted to work with London 2012 to make sure that these Games are great for volunteers, paid workers, competitors and spectators alike.”

For information on volunteering roles and the application process, please visit http://www.london2012.com/volunteering

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