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Volunteering after 2012

May 1, 2013
London 2012 volunteers: fancy helping out at your local museum?

London 2012 volunteers: fancy helping out at your local museum?

Has the post 2012 Olympic volunteering legacy effected you? No, well you might not be alone. The Public Accounts Committee commented that the popular and well organised volunteering efforts during the London 2012 games could be lost as a lasting legacy to the nation. It was hoped that the 70,000 Games Makers (volunteers) would start a volunteering revolution in the UK. Although the majority had previously volunteered before the Games, there is a fear that volunteering feel good factor will be lost.

Join In has been set up to ensure Games Makers and those inspired to help can volunteer, but it is a sport focused campaign.  Many volunteers in 2012 helped out in roles that were not directly related to sporting activities, from meeting and greeting to chauffering.  I suspect many Games Makers were attracted by the “fizz” factor, rather than the attraction of sports alone.  So it would be a shame to not direct them to other areas of volunteering such as museums and heritage.  Meeting and greeting is an essential component of keeping many museums open.  The sterotypical research role is often a minor part of running a museum.  I can personnally vouch that museums can generate a “fizz” factor for volunteers, especially on event days, when you have a great time helping visitors, at the end of the day you will be wondering how a whole day whizzed by in what appeared to be minutes, although you invariably hit the pillow hard in the evening.

The 2012 Games show that a well run volunteer programme can attact plenty of people to help out.  You need to provide an attractive offer to potential volunteers, provide well structured roles and make sure that everyone is trained up and well briefed.

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