Today I have been in London to attend a Volunteering England/LOCOG seminar on the Olympics Volunteering Programme. Hosted by Volunteering England this event involved representatives of a wide range of organisations including LOCOG, V, Volunteer Development Agency (Northern Ireland), WCVA, the Local Government Association, Office of the Third Sector, Department for Children, Schools and Families, YouthNet, Sport England, the Media Trust and the Government Olympic Executive. Jean Tomlin from LOCOG explained the detailed plans for the games-time volunteering programme. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be the largest peace-time mobilisation of people ever seen in the UK. There will be around 70,000 official games-time volunteers, of whom only around 35,000 will be general roles not requiring specialist skills – and already more than 240,000 people have registered an interest in volunteering. John Knights from OTS and Alan Bucknell from GOE then talked about plans for a volunteering legacy – looking to ensure that as many people inspired to volunteer by London 2012 as possible are helped to find opportunities to get involved in their local communities. After a host of other speakers and much discussion we concluded that the next step must be to clarify exactly what the volunteering legacy hopes to achieve (what would success look like?) and to explain how the current myriad of ideas and initiatives might fit together – confirming in particular who interested organisations should contact.
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