Go Local calls for London 2012 volunteers- one year on

Olympic legacy charity Join In has today confirmed that they will be hosting an exclusive event for London 2012 volunteers on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Friday 19 July 2013. The Big Lottery Fund announced £1.5 million of funding to support Join In with part of this going towards staging the event, which is also supported by the Mayor of London’s volunteering initiative, Team London.

The event will feature appearances from music acts and special guests, with inspirational ideas and practical advice for volunteers on how to volunteer in their area, It aims to inspire those who gave their time last summer in such a spectacular way – whether Games Makers or London Ambassadors – and encourage them to continue their volunteering journey.

According to Join In’s research, 84% of clubs say that they need more volunteers to help them function. 87% of clubs say a lack of willing volunteers prevents them from increasing membership. Whilst a recent Team London survey showed that 91% of people think volunteering is important for bringing communities together and improving quality of life and 86% think it plays an important role in helping people to develop skills for work.

With the Games still fresh in the mind, Join In and Team London are aiming to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity and asking the London 2012 volunteers to bring a friend to the event and inspire them to make a tangible difference to their local community.

The event will take place in the north of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the afternoon of 19 July 2013. Tickets will went on sale at the end of May and priority is initially given to Games Makers, London Ambassadors, Ceremony Volunteers and City Ambassadors. Further details of the event and tickets will be announced in the next few weeks.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said:

“We are harnessing the incredible volunteering fever amongst our Ambassadors and Games Makers to drive thousands of rewarding opportunities across London’s communities. We’ve worked tirelessly in Team London to maintain the volunteering momentum of the Games and this event with Join In will provide some extra rocket-fuel to the great success story of the Games – volunteering. Volunteering is not just about the Olympics it’s about a way of life. I’d urge as many people as possible to get involved, join in and reap the benefits of helping out their communities.”

Sir Charles Allen, Chairman of Join In said:

“Clubs are telling us that they are in something of a catch-22 situation. Many of them saw a boost in participation and interest, but they simply don’t have the resources to cope with it. This summer, Join In will help address this issue – and the ‘go local’ event will be a fantastic way to kick this off. The Games Makers and other volunteers were rightly lauded last summer, but many of them have yet to continue what they started. The event is a chance to get them back together and ask them to play an active and significant role in the legacy of the Games. We are hugely grateful to the Big Lottery Fund which is helping to make this possible .”

Announcing the £1.5m funding for Join In, Big Lottery Fund Chair Peter Ainsworth said:

“The Lottery funding awarded to Join In today will help to garner the energy and enthusiasm of the 2012 Games Makers, and sustain the positive change in attitudes and behaviours the 2012 Games inspired. As we move towards the Big Lottery Fund’s establishment of a Spirit of 2012 Trust, the Fund’s support for Join In reflects our commitment to ensure that the Olympic legacy continues to thrive in our communities."

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:

‘We want to harness the spirit of the 2012 Games and ensure that they are the catalyst for a great volunteering legacy in this country. That’s why I am delighted that once again through Join In, sports clubs are opening their doors this summer so that people can volunteer to run or take part in sports events in their local community. A successful country is built on strong communities, which is why it is so important for people to get involved and make their neighbourhood a better place to live.”

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is due to open to the public from 27 July 2013 and the Join In event will be an exclusive chance for London 2012 volunteers to see the Park before if opens officially.

Tickets are on sale here

Join In was formed in April 2012 to maximise the volunteering opportunities across the UK created by the Olympic and Paralympic Games. A matter of days after the Olympic Games, Join In 2012 saw thousands of sport clubs across the UK hold events to capture the magic of the Games. This summer, Join In will be working with sports and community clubs all over the UK and asking them to throw open their doors again to their local community with a view to recruiting new members and volunteers alike. Through its website (www.joininuk.org), Join In aims to become a matchmaker between potential volunteers and clubs.

Team London is the Mayor’s volunteering programme for London (www.london.gov.uk/priorities/volunteering). Whether it’s cleaning up the environment or volunteering at a major event in the city, Team London mobilises community spirit and enthusiasm of Londoners to make a difference. Team London will launch a new website and major advertising and awareness campaign designed to inspire more Londoners to volunteer, at the end of May. Plans for Team London so far this year include:

  • Team London Ambassadors returning to top visitor sites across the capital to help visitors and Londoners from July 27th – September 11th 
  • Team London Ambassadors will be placed in London Schools to help inspire young people to volunteer 
  • Ensuring unemployed young people are a key part of the volunteers helping support the UEFA Champions League Final in May and at other major sporting and cultural events the GLA is working in partnership with. They will also benefit from skills training.