Press release

London 2012 legacy: UK urged to 'Join In' this summer

First major London 2012 legacy event - a campaign to promote community volunteering - kicks off at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


The first major London 2012 legacy event at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park takes place today (19 July 2013) as a nationwide summer-long drive to bring the benefits of volunteering to communities across the UK gets underway. Presented by BT, Go Local is co-hosted by Olympic and Paralympic legacy charity, Join In and Team London, and is majority funded by the Big Lottery Fund with additional funding from a government grant and Presenting Partner BT.

New official statistics show an 8 percentage point increase in regular volunteering since the Games.

The Go Local event coincides with official statistics published today by the Cabinet Office that show that the proportion of people volunteering at least once a year has seen a significant increase following London 2012, from 65% in 2010 to 2011 to 72% in 2013, with an equivalent increase in the proportion of people volunteering regularly. This equates to millions more people volunteering across the country.

Despite this increase, the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games was such that sports clubs are still unable to cope with the demand from people wanting to join in and become more active, with 77% of clubs saying they need more volunteers.

A year on, still over a third say that, looking back, they would like to have been a London 2012 volunteer themselves.

In what is set to be the UK’s largest ever celebration of volunteering, over 30,000 people are expected at today’s event which is designed to inspire more people to volunteer, matching them with local organisations that need help. Thousands of the London 2012 volunteers will be reunited at the event to find out how they can keep the spirit of London 2012 alive and encourage others to do the same. Every London 2012 volunteer was invited to bring along a ‘plus one’ - a friend or family member who was also inspired by the Games - to find out how they too could become part of the volunteering legacy.

Go Local is a curtain-raiser to the Join In Summer, which runs from 27 July to 9 September 2013 with more than 10,000 events across the country hosted by sports clubs and community groups to excite would-be volunteers about the opportunities to lend a hand and make a difference to their local communities.

Alice Hunt, Chief Executive Officer, Join In, said:

The great surprise of London 2012 was the huge success of the Games Makers. With their foam fingers and smiles, they made the Games unforgettable. They changed the way we view volunteering, helping people understand that whether it’s an hour a week or an hour a month they can make a huge impact. Since then, thousands of people have been inspired to volunteer up and down the country.

The Games created huge demand for people to do more sport but clubs across the UK can’t meet the demand without more volunteers. Thousands of community organisations up and down the UK need people to help out. Join In’s job is to get more people to volunteer and to match them with the organisations that need help. Our aim is to release a new army of volunteers to enable the next generation of sporting heroes to flourish and make a difference to communities across the country.

Today’s Go Local event is hosted by the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador Sebastian Coe and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, with appearances from sporting heroes, musicians and entertainers including Join In Patron Eddie Izzard, McFly, The Feeling and the Pandemonium Drummers. The event will entertain, educate and encourage everyone present to take the next step on his or her volunteer journey and become a local hero.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

This summer an army of volunteers are set to turn up, take part and join in at their local sports clubs.

Join In are inspiring thousands of people across the country to keep the Olympic flame alive, making sure that the greatest games ever really do benefit our entire country for generations to come.

Sebastian Coe, the Prime Minister’s Olympic and Paralympic Legacy Ambassador, said:

It took us 10 years to deliver the Games; it will take 10 years to deliver the full London 2012 legacy. Last year the Games Makers, along with all the volunteers in London and around the UK, made the Games the success they were. Most importantly they inspired people – showing what it means to be a volunteer, in both attitude and impact.

Join In was launched to harness the potential of the Games Makers and to inspire people to help out at sports clubs and community groups around the UK. There are thousands of opportunities available, starting with the Join In Summer of events from 27 July to 9 September 2013.

Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd said:

Last summer the Games showed us what is possible when people come together and we were incredibly proud of the commitment and dedication of the 2012 volunteers. We have always said that we wanted to see a long lasting volunteering legacy inspired by 2012. Join In is making that possible by getting more people to volunteer at their local sports club – there are over 10,000 Join In sporting events taking place around the country this summer where people can get involved.

Contact information

For more information, contact or phone 020 7260 2700 or Elise Simpson at Cabinet Office on 07825 385 182.

Notes to editors

About the Go Local event

Go Local is hosted by Join In and Team London, and funded by the Big Lottery Fund and by Presenting Partner BT.

Go Local is majority funded by a £1.5 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive’ programme, which is funding a number of London 2012 legacy projects.

About Join In

Games Makers and the London 2012 volunteers were the surprise success of the Games. Join In’s aim is to harness their potential to create a visible volunteering movement by encouraging people to help out at sports clubs and community groups around the UK.

In 2012 Join In delivered over 6,000 events and 30,000 volunteers. Join In 2013 looks set to be bigger and better than ever, with 10,000 events and 100,000 volunteers active in communities up and down the UK. The Join In Summer kicks off on 27 July and runs through to 9 September 2013.

Join In is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, government grant and by Official Partners BT and Lloyds TSB. Join In is partly funded by a £1.5 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, as part of the Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive’ programme, which is funding a number of London 2012 legacy projects.

About Team London

The Mayor’s volunteering programme for London, Team London, makes it quick and easy for Londoners to give their time, find volunteering opportunities and do great things for their city.

Whether it’s cleaning up the environment or volunteering at one of the capital’s great events, Team London mobilises the community spirit and enthusiasm of Londoners to make a difference. Building on all the work that is already taking place in the capital, Team London focuses efforts on areas where volunteers can make the biggest impact. For more information please visit Team London or contact

About Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since June 2004 BIG has awarded over £6 billion.

The fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28 pence from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, more than £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

The Big Lottery Fund announced on 23 September it would establish a trust to deliver an Olympic and Paralympic legacy for communities across the UK. BIG pledged that the money it receives from the sale of the Olympic Village, likely to be between £30 to 40 million, will be committed to The Big Lottery Fund’s ‘Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive’ Trust. Nine Trustees have so far been appointed, including Dugald Mackie (Chair), Baroness Sue Campbell, John Gartside, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Paul Cuttill, David Watters and Jan Paterson and Sir Harry Burns.

Big Lottery Fund is investing £5.3 million in 4 inspirational UK-wide initiatives that will inspire and engage up to 2 million people and ensure the 2012 spirit continues to thrive in communities through to 2014 and beyond.

The Big Lottery Fund has funded Join In activity over the next year. The activity will focus on 4 key areas:

  • a nationwide campaign encouraging clubs and wider community groups to offer volunteering opportunities via the Join In website
  • an education programme to inspire and mobilise people to volunteer in their local clubs and communities across the UK - on the afternoon of Friday 19 July 2013, Join In, Team London and Big Lottery Fund will invite volunteers to be part of the biggest volunteering event in history, a with inspirational ideas and practical advice for volunteers on how to volunteer in their area, the event will also feature fantastic live music, entertainment and some very special guests
  • an awareness-raising campaign which will change perceptions of volunteering among the public

About Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open to the public in phases starting this summer. Go Local is one of a series of summer concerts and events taking place throughout the summer. For further information visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park website and sign up for the newsletter. The park will be fully open by spring 2014.

About the research

YouGov research: Total sample size was 2174 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15 and 17 May 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+).

Join In survey - clubs: voice on volunteering (July 2013): the clubs research figures are from The Join In Trust / Acj Research Ltd. Total sample size was 110 clubs from the Join In database. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3 and 15 July 2013. The survey was carried out online.

About the Community Life Survey

The Community Life Survey is a new survey commissioned by Cabinet Office to provide official statistics on issues that are key to encouraging social action and empowering communities, including volunteering, charitable giving, community engagement and well-being.

The survey is representative of adults (aged 16+) in England. This release covers data from 2012 to 2013, and is based on 6,915 interviews carried out between August 2012 to April 2013 by TNS-BMRB, on behalf of Cabinet Office.

The survey is designed to be comparable with key measures on the previous Citizenship Survey so that trends can be tracked over time. Where applicable, data from Community Life is compared with data from the 2010 to 2011 Citizenship Survey.

Full findings, Excel tables and survey outputs can be found at the Community Life website.

Published 19 July 2013