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Volunteers and The Games

It’s been great to see how the volunteers at the Games have hit the headlines.  As someone who experienced the Olympic park first hand, I can testify that they were amazing in creating an atmosphere and ensuring that everyone had a good time.

The Games Makers, as they are called, have been praised by athletes, politicians and the UK public and foreign visitors.  They are individuals who have given up their own lives for the two weeks (some for even longer, as they will continue to volunteer for the Paralympic Games), and travelled to London from all across the country.

Whilst in the queue for handball last week, one volunteer was telling me about how much money she had spent on travelling for training and for the Games themselves – over £600.  She said that she was sleeping on a family friend’s floor for the two weeks but she didn’t care; she was having the time of her life.

Although my experience of these Game Makers was great, it made me remember my own volunteers.

FaithAction has three volunteers, from all different walks of life, who give their time, energy and knowledge to help FaithAction be the best it can be.  They don’t get a uniform, credit from national press or autographs from athletes; just Daniel and I appreciating them, and their travel and lunch paid.  I wasn’t surprised this week when one volunteer confessed to checking his ‘work’ e-mails at home in his own time.  Another volunteer comes in ready to work and is dedicated, despite a chaotic home life.  FaithAction is lucky enough to have some volunteers who have taken their areas of ‘work’ as their own, and are constantly coming up with new thoughts and ideas on how to make it the best that it can be.

When travelling around the country, I have the privilege of meeting a number of faith-based organisations, who all have teams of volunteers working tirelessly for the benefit of their communities.  Yes, the focus on the Games Makers is great; but let’s not forget those in our own community.  If the Games make us do anything, it should cause us to say thank you to our own fantastic volunteers.