Mayor and cricket star Shane Warne launch volunteer drive
25,000 new opportunities for Team London volunteers were unveiled today by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson and Australian cricket legend Shane Warne.
The Mayor and the cricket star joined forces at the Oval this morning to meet volunteers and school children to further galvanise the spirit of 2012 with a major new Team London recruitment drive.
The Mayor is asking Londoners to offer their time and skills to a range of projects from planting a community garden, time keeping at fun runs, or helping young people with job skills, to volunteering at major sporting and cultural events like Ride London and the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival.
At the event the Mayor and Shane enjoyed a game of cricket with local school children and Team London volunteers who are helping out at the ICC Champions Trophy. This is the second time the tournament has been played in England with competition taking place over 18 days with matches in three venues – The Oval, Edgbaston and Cardiff.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “Our Team London volunteers are good will ambassadors and their hard work is immeasurable. We now have thousands of Team London opportunities through which people can go local and do something great for their city.
“Our volunteers have had the chance to bowl with the ‘king of spin’ today; Shane Warne is widely acknowledged as the greatest bowler ever to play Test cricket. I’d like to thank him for supporting our volunteers and invite everybody to keep the 2012 spirit alive by getting involved in events and in their local communities.”
Shane Warne said: “It’s a true delight to be supporting the Mayor of London's volunteering drive. We all saw how much of a difference the many thousands of volunteers made last summer during the London 2012 Games. I can't be enthusiastic enough about people joining in, even if only for a few hours now and again, they can still make a difference. Grassroots sports can’t survive without the support and dedication of good people of all ages and backgrounds.
“It’s fantastic to see how many more opportunities are on offer for Londoners to, in many cases, change the fortunes and life experiences of others for the better; an ethos I wholeheartedly endorse and have seen the genuine impact of through my own fundraising work for the Shane Warne Foundation.”
Ally Jarvis, Head of Cricketeers Programme for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 said: “Volunteers are at the heart of successful events and the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 will be no different. The Cricketeers will enhance the spectator’s experience and form an integral part of the tournament. I am extremely grateful to all our Cricketeers for kindly volunteering their time – we saw the immense power of volunteers during London 2012 and their involvement will undoubtedly help to ensure the tournament is one to remember.”
Jim Wong, Team London Volunteer, who worked on the Olympics and the recent UEFA Champions League Final said: “I’ve never had the opportunity to work with so many different types of people before. It’s really boosted my confidence, and helped me when I was looking for employment. I’ve now secured a work contract with my new skills and I’ll keep on helping out with Team London events as they are great fun.”
Team London recognises the work of everyday Londoners and the many voluntary groups and charities in the capital. Building on all the work that is already taking place, it focuses efforts on areas of need where volunteers can help make a real difference. Team London opportunities and plans for 2013 include:
- One year on from the Games, in July, the Mayor of London and Lord Coe with Team London and national charity Join In are hosting an event, funded by the Big Lottery, in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It will be the biggest celebration of volunteering and will include live entertainment and special guests. Volunteers from across the country will be thanked for their contributions and encouraged to continue volunteering and inspire their friends and family to do the same.
- 900 Team London Ambassadors will provide a visitor welcome service at central London locations throughout this summer
- Hundreds of additional Team London volunteers are helping out at major sporting and cultural events across London
- Team London Ambassadors are being matched to schools across London to inspire young people to volunteer in their communities and unemployed young people are being recruited and given skills training and opportunities at major events.
- To support the exciting series of summer events in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park the London Legacy Development Corporation is recruiting 600 volunteers to help welcome visitors to the Park for the first time since the Games. These volunteers will help lay the foundations for the innovative time bank market place volunteering programme being developed for when the Park fully opens in spring 2014.
To make it easier to volunteer, all Londoners are being encouraged to sign up to the new Team London website http://volunteerteam.london.gov.uk/where they can find thousands of ways to go local and do something great for our city and communities. As part of the recruitment Londoners can look out for new team London posters and adverts on transport networks around the capital, including a specially wrapped Northern line tube throughout June.
Notes to editors
- Team London was inspired by Mayor Bloomberg's Cities of Service model. Cities of Service was founded by Mayor Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the United States to help them leverage citizen service strategies to address local needs and make local government more effective, Cities of Service builds on the success of the initiative in New York City (www.nycservice.org.uk). The coalition now includes more than 100 mayors representing nearly 50 million Americans.
- Team London funded by the Reuben Foundation in 2011, delivered a number of programmes including planting trees across London, IT Skills for the elderly and mentoring young readers
- Since retiring from international cricket, Shane Warne spends a great deal of his time fundraising for The Shane Warne Foundation - the charity he set up is to help seriously ill and underprivileged children. Shane's next fundraiser will be Shane Warne’s Australia v Michael Vaughan’s England 'Cricket for Kids' 20 / 20 fundraising match. It will take place on 9th June at Cirencester Cricket Club, Gloucestershire to celebrate the start of the 2013 Ashes series & raise money for both British & Australian children in need. For more information on how to get tickets go to:http://www.elizabethhurley.com/ct20/index.cfm and for further information about The Shane Warne Foundation visit: http://www.tswf.com.au/
- The historic Kia Oval Cricket Ground in Kennington has staged international cricket since 1880 and was the ground where the Ashes were born two years later. The refurbishment of the Ground’s Pavilion is now complete, featuring a grand façade with two new terraces looking out over South London. The Kia Oval and will host five matches in the ICC Champions Trophy. For more information about the Kia Oval Cricket Ground please go to http://www.kiaoval.com/