News story

PM pays tribute to the volunteers behind the Olympic Games

"You're not just part of the Games, you will be what makes the Games a success"

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

External site: Government Olympic Communication Newsroom

With just one month to go until the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, the Prime Minister has thanked the thousands of volunteers from around the country getting involved in the excitement of 2012 and giving up their time to help make this the best Games ever.

On a visit to the Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre (UDAC) in London to mark the ‘one month to go’ milestone, the Prime Minister paid tribute to the thousands of people playing a vital part towards the success of the Games.

The Prime Minister said:

Well, isn’t this exciting? One month to go. The biggest logistics project in British peacetime history; the biggest construction project anywhere in Europe; and a Games that is looking really good. It’s on time, it’s on budget, all the building’s being done.

What this is about today: it’s not about politics, this is about Britain, it’s about our country, it’s about volunteering, and it’s about a successful Olympics. Are we going to put on a successful Olympics? Are we going to show the best side of our country to the whole world over those few weeks? Yes, we are.

First of all, I want to say a really big thank you. Coming here today and seeing what you’re doing really brings home to me what an enormous amount you’re giving up to be part of these Games. These Games couldn’t exist without you, so a really big thank you. You’re going to work really hard over these next few weeks. Some of you have been working really hard already. So a very big thank you on behalf of the whole country for what you are about to do.

You’re not just part of the Games, you will be what makes the Games a success. The people who come to the Games, the visitors, the athletes, the foreign leaders, all those people who come: what you do will make a real difference between a successful Games and an absolutely fantastically successful Games. So please give it your all, do everything you can to give people an incredibly warm welcome.

But there’s one other thing I want to say, which is you’re not just part of the Games, you’re not just part of the Games’ success, but I think what you’re doing is a very key part of the country and the Games’ future. Because what you’ve all done is volunteer. I think frankly it’s staggering that a quarter of a million people from across our country have volunteered to be part of this Games. 70,000 Games Makers are being trained up, including all of you, and I think it’s an extraordinary statement about our country, about how many people want to come forward and volunteer.

And the truth about these Games is, yes, they should be a fantastic few weeks of successful sporting achievement and a successful few weeks of great fun and entertainment, but what also matters is that there’s a lasting legacy for our country, and one of the best bits of legacy we can give our country is the inspiration that all of you provide by volunteering to take part in the Games in the first place. I think people will look at your example and think, ‘What more can I do to volunteer to help build a stronger society, a stronger country?’

So from the bottom of my heart, a really big thank you. You’ve already given a lot, you’re going to give a huge amount more. You’re not just a key part of the Games, you’re what is going to make the Games the real success, but even bigger than that you’re doing something really important for our country.

With just one month to go to the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games, the UK is all set to welcome the world.

The Olympic Park is ready- with world-class, iconic new sporting venues ready for the world’s finest athletes
Our volunteers are ready - with up to 70,000 Games Makers and 10,000 volunteers ready to provide visitors with a warm welcome

London is ready - with robust plans in place to keep London moving and keep Londoners and visitors safe and secure
Our communities are ready - with around 5m people turning out to support the Olympic Torch so far, and many more taking part in the country’s biggest ever cultural celebration, the London 2012 Festival
Britain is ready - the Games is a historic opportunity to showcase the best of Britain and we are determined the benefits will live on through a clear and powerful sporting, social and economic legacy.

Background on Games Makers and other volunteers

The main areas where volunteers are contributing the Games.

Games Makers:

Recruitment began in September 2010. During the Games up to 70,000 Games Makers will take on various roles across the venues: from welcoming visitors; to transporting athletes; to helping out behind the scenes to make sure events run smoothly.

Games Makers come from a diverse range of communities and backgrounds, from across the UK and abroad. The vast majority are giving up at least 10 days to volunteer during the Games.  

Focus was deliberately UK-wide in terms of recruitment - selection centres in Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy; Digital World Centre, Salford; Queen’s University Physical Education Centre, Belfast; Glasgow Science Centre; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; The Coal Exchange, Cardiff; University of Warwick Sports Centre, Coventry; University College, Plymouth.

Altogether, they will deliver 8 million volunteer hours after 1 million hours of training

Uniform Distribution and Accreditation Centre in East London is now open and processing thousands of Games Makers and Staff. Uniforms for Games Makers, staff, officials and eligible contractors require:

Young Games Makers:

For the first time, more than 2,000 16-18 year olds are volunteering through the Young Games Maker programme. Some will have roles on the field of play, e.g. raking sand during Beach Volleyball. Working in teams, they will each have a team leader to guide them. 

Other Volunteers

London Ambassadors:

8,000 people who are passionate about the capital have been recruited to show millions of visitors what makes London one of the best cities in the world.

Based in stations, airports, tourist attractions and around Olympic venues, London Ambassadors will offer directions and information to visitors, helping to show the best face of the capital.

Similar programmes are running in other Olympic and Paralympic cities, eg the Cardiff Host Council Ambassadors are Cardiff’s equivalent.

Sport Makers:

Part of Sport England’s legacy programme, 40,000 Sport Makers are helping to make sport happen for their friends, neighbours or colleagues - some by organising sessions themselves, others by encouraging people to try a sport for the first time, all of them are giving up their own time to help others enjoy sport.

Join In and the volunteering legacy:

With two in five Games Maker applicants saying London 2012 has inspired them to volunteer for the first time, the aim is to build on this to create a new culture of volunteering after 2012.
As part of this, the Join In Trust led by Charles Allen is hoping to get 250,000 people visiting sports clubs and finding out how to get involved at the first Join-In weekend in August.

Published 27 June 2012