Mayor thanks 'fantastic' Games volunteers

06 September 2012

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today thanked his Team London Ambassadors and LOCOG's Games Makers for the amazing job they have done to welcome the world to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Meeting a group of Team London Ambassadors and LOCOG Games Makers at North Greenwich Arena today, the Mayor urged Londoners to harness the volunteering spirit which has helped make London 2012 the best ever Games, and said those interested in giving their time to help make the capital a better place to live should sign up to his pioneering Team London initiative to increase volunteering in the capital.

Since the first of the Mayor’s army of 8,000 Team London Ambassadors took to the streets on July 9th, the volunteers have amassed more than 200,000 working hours and dealt with tens of thousands of queries every day.

An on-going survey is taking place to gauge the reactions of visitors to the 43 Ambassador Pods across London. Early indications show overwhelming support for the volunteers, with 99 per cent of those surveyed saying Ambassadors were polite and friendly and a good way to welcome visitors to the city.

In addition to the Mayor’s Ambassadors, up to 70,000 Games Makers have provided eight million volunteer hours over the summer of 2012 to help make the Games happen.

Games Makers went through more than one million hours of training in preparation and are doing around 800 different roles. In recruiting the Games Makers, LOCOG received a quarter of a million applications and interviewed 100,000 at selection centres across the UK.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Our fantastic volunteers are one of the greatest success stories of this remarkable summer, and deserve as many plaudits as our heroic athletes for their efforts in making London 2012 the best Games in history.

“As we enter the final few days of the Paralympics, I want to thank each and every one of them for helping to welcome the world to London and offering invaluable assistance to our Olympic visitors. They can all be hugely proud of the way their positive energy has swept through London over the past few weeks.

“Volunteering is vital in helping to improve our neighbourhoods and making London such a fantastic place to visit and live, so I want to see this spirit live on as a lasting legacy of the 2012 Games.”

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: "The support from our Games Makers has been invaluable in helping us stage such a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games. Their enthusiasm and dedication has been endless and I'm not surprised that the athletes and spectators have recognised just how fantastic they have been. I'd like to personally thank all our Games Makers and I hope they will have memories which will last them a long time."

As a thank you for their hard work during the Games, every Team London Ambassador and 9,000 Games Makers have been invited to attend Our Greatest Team parade, which will take place in central London on September 10th. 

Notes to editors

 1. The Survey - the survey, carried out by the GLA Intelligence Unit, is part of a wider evaluation of the Team London Ambassador Programme. The data is based on the views of 114 visitors to a London Ambassador Pod. These results are initial findings only as data continues to be gathered. The full survey will be published once completed late Autumn 2012.

2. Team London Ambassadors - 8,000 dedicated, enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers who are the face of today's London and come from a range of backgrounds and communities. Their role was to welcome the world to London during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, providing advice and guidance to visitors and Londoners as people moved around the city at Games time. They volunteered for a maximum of five hours per shift and up to six consecutive days. They were based round London at one of 43 visitor locations including landmarks, visitor hot spots, travel hubs and big screen live sites - examples are Heathrow Airport, Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street and Wimbledon.

3. Team London is the Mayor’s ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers across the capital to improve life in London through programmes aimed at reducing crime, increasing youth opportunities and improving quality of life by cleaning and greening London and building stronger neighbourhoods.

4. Games Makers - The London 2012 Games Makers are a diverse group of 70,000 volunteers fulfilling roles such as welcome desk staff, ticket checkers, costume assistants, drivers and event stewards. LOCOG received a quarter of a million applications and interviewed around 100,000 people at centres across the UK. A specific Young Games Maker programme was launched for over 2,000 16-18 year olds to work in 250 teams. Games Makers have worked around ten days each and attended three days training before the start of the Games.