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Deputy Prime Minister celebrates GB success with community champions

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has invited 12 guests to attend the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics on Sunday evening.

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All the guests are people he has met over the last year and who have made a major contribution to society, their local communities and the country.

The guests will all attend a reception for Olympic VIPs hosted by the Deputy Prime Minister before taking their highly sought-after seats for the ceremony, marking the official end of the Games. Guests include:

Laura Wellington, 27, and James Abbot Donnelly, 29, co-founders of Duke Studios, Leeds. Laura and James are creative graduates who launched an ambitious urban regeneration project to provide an open plan design-led haven for creative collaboration. The Deputy Prime Minister met the young entrepreneurs when he visited Duke Studios in July to announce the Leeds city deal.

Scott Young, 36 and Marc Cahill, 31, Cardiff City FC Community & Education Foundation. Scott and Marc provide football education programmes in primary and secondary schools across Wales. The Deputy Prime Minister met Scott and Marc during a recent visit to Cardiff City FC.

David Whelan, 47 and Steven Cox, 18, Full Circle Learning. David is the Apprenticeship Champion and employer representative at Full Circle Learning, a college providing tailored training for employed and unemployed people in Rotherham. Steven is a graduate of Full Circle Learning who is now a fully employed apprentice. The Deputy Prime Minister met David and Steven during a visit to Rotherham in July.

Kevin McLoughlin, Founder and MD of K&M McLoughlin Decorating Services and Cameron Mitchell and Frankie Notario, two apprentices employed by the firm. Kevin set up his London-based company in 1988. He is committed to opening up training opportunities for young people and opened the K&M Apprentice School for painting and decorating in 2010. The Deputy Prime Minister visited the school in February as part of preparations for the Government’s Youth Contract to tackle youth unemployment.

Chris Wright, 30, London Midland Train Depot Manager, Smethwick. Chris is an engineering graduate from Sheffield University. Now manager of London Midland’s Soho train depot in Smethwick, he uses both his engineering and leadership skills to ensure the reliable maintenance of the class 323 electric fleet of trains which operate across the heart of the West Midlands. The Deputy Prime Minister met Chris during a joint visit to the depot with the Prime Minister where he announced over £9 billion of government funding for the railways.

Maurice Reeves, 81, Chairman of House of Reeves. The Deputy Prime Minister met Maurice and his staff during a visit to Croydon in the wake of last summer’s riots. House of Reeves, a furniture store in a building that had stood on Reeves Corner for 140 years, was the victim of an arson attack. The store has now been refurbished and Maurice recently worked with youth volunteering charity vInspired to deck the shop with 4,000 pictures of youngsters holding up hopeful messages for society in a move to challenge negative perceptions of young people.

Basak Kartal, 26, Director of the Garden House Cafe, Tottenham High Road. Basak has run the Turkish cafe, bookshop and community hub since 2004. In the aftermath of the riots Basak hosted a community-wide event to bring together police, shop keepers residents and politicians. The Deputy Prime Minister met Basak when he revisited Tottenham in August last year to see how the recovery was progressing.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:

London 2012 has been a truly historic Olympics for Team GB and Britain as a whole. Our unprecedented medal haul adds a new buzz to the excitement and anticipation around Sunday’s closing ceremony.

It is a privilege to be able to celebrate the incredible achievements of our sporting heroes with just a few of the inspirational people I have met over the past year, who have made such a significant contribution to their communities.

Published 10 August 2012