Richard Ross, 47, and Charlie Hefford, 27, both from Surrey, will each volunteer 10 days of their time during this summer's event. Richard will be based at Wimbledon and Charlie will be an events team leader at the Olympic Park.
More than 240,000 applied to the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) Games Maker volunteering roles, and only 70,000 were accepted.
Richard said: "It's a dream come true. I have always felt that volunteering is up my street because I think I am good with people and helping others, so thumbs up to LOCOG for having us. It has been a long time waiting to find out but now I am really looking forward to it and can't wait for it all to start."
Charlie said: "I remember when we first found out we would be sitting interviews that only ten per cent of the 100,000 interviewed would get a role. There were ten of us sat around the table who had applied and I remember thinking, 'Oh no, only one of us here is going to get accepted'."
Richard and Charlie applied for the roles after completing SkillsActive’s Personal Best programme. The programme, which ended in March 2011, provided 6000 long term unemployed people with a level 1 award in event volunteering and volunteer experience as well as the chance to volunteer at the 2012 Games. About 15% of those that completed the programme applied to become Games Makers.
Lizzie Kemp, project coordinator at Sussex Downs College, which delivered the programme in Surrey and Thames Valley, says: “We are so excited for them at being given this lifetime opportunity and very proud to have been part of their journey.”
James Emmett, Head of Employer Engagement at SkillsActive, says: “Many of the people that took part in Personal Best struggled to find work because they lacked relevant experience or the right skill set. We’re proud Richard and Charlie gained the confidence, through our programme, to apply for this amazing experience. This will, I’m sure, be the start of great things for them both.”
Richard and Charlie, who are both residents of the Grange, a support centre that helps people with learning disabilities live independent lives, will complete an extensive training course this month to help them prepare for their roles.
To learn more about the projects and programmes SkillsActive is involved with see Projects and Programmes
The organisation hopes to sit at the heart of the delivery, helping to ensure a skilled, competent and motivated workforce is available to implement grassroots programmes.
Steve Mitchell, Head of National Partnerships at SkillsActive, explains:
“We are fully behind the new focus on sports participation for 14-25 year olds, and driving a step change in the sporting behaviour of a generation, never seen before in the UK. We also recognise the huge part SkillsActive can play in upskilling the existing workforce and training the next generation of sporting administrators, coaches and activators.
“We plan to build on our existing relationships with NGBs and the CSP network, to continue to develop a talented pool of young, dynamic and work ready individuals. Moving forward, sports clubs will need to reach further into local communities to flush out new talent. SkillsActive has already demonstrated success in this area through its involvement in programmes such as Personal Best and the World Skills London 2011 Volunteer Development Programme.
“SkillsActive would welcome the opportunity to work across Government departments to target the huge unemployment challenge the country is facing, by getting people off benefits and into work. Sport and physical activity is the perfect catalyst for radical changes in behaviour for life and building the aspirations of our young people.
“We know from our experience that working in partnership we can meet the challenges laid down by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Work and Pensions, by offering a fit for purpose qualification framework, apprenticeship programmes and job creation scheme the industry will require to sustain increases in sports participation.”
Reflecting on two of the partners named in the strategy, Steve Mitchell adds: “We are really pleased to see two of our closest partners, StreetGames and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust (DKHLT) recognised as key partners to deliver the strategy over the next five years.”
The Mayor’s Sports Legacy Fund, delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, provides London volunteers with up to 75% off training to deliver a sporting legacy from the 2012 Games.
The annual Nancy Ovens Bursary, sponsored by SkillsActive, provides paid or voluntary coaches and leaders in the sector with up to £2,000 in innovative training to improve skills.
The Yorkshire and Humber Coaching Bursary, delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, provides 60% off UKCC coaching qualifications for new and existing coaches. It is funded by Sport England Yorkshire.
SkillsActive’s Joint Investment Programme helps meet specific skills gaps in the fitness and playwork sectors using training jointly funded by the Government and employers.
SkillsActive’s Group Training Association enables small to medium sized employers to develop existing employees and recruit and train new personnel, primarily through Apprenticeships.
Activegraduates.com is a free job matching website to help employers find talented, work ready candidates from our pool of successful Future Jobs Fund participants.
Change Gear, delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, provides support to those leaving the Armed Forces to ensure they are aware of the opportunities available to them in the sport, fitness, outdoors, playwork and caravans industries.
SkillsActive is working with experts from nine Member States on the Training 4 Volunteers project, which aims to investigate volunteering in sport and broaden ideas about education and training. It is funded by the 2010 Preparatory Action on Sport of the European Commission.
SkillsActive is leading on several projects to help deliver the competent, qualified workforce the UK needs for a successful London 2012 Games and a sustainable increase in sport and leisure participation.
SkillsActive periodically asks for feedback on sector issues to inform the work we do. You can give SkillsActive feedback by post, email or fax before the time specified on the closing date.
SkillsActive has delivered numerous other successful programmes and projects.
The Future Jobs Fund programme, delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, provided 5000 young unemployed people with six months training and work experience in the sport and active leisure sector. It was funded by the government and supported by 175 employer partners nationwide.
SkillsActive’s Personal Best programme, which finished in March 2011, provided long term unemployed people with a level 1 award in event volunteering and volunteer experience as well as the chance to volunteer at the 2012 Games. More than 1000 Personal Best learners have now applied to become Games volunteers. Read about some of the programme's successes in Personal Best: The Story So Far
The WorldsSkills London 2011 Volunteer Development programme, managed by SkillsActive, gave 250 people the chance to complete a level 1 award in event volunteering while gaining practical work experience at WorldSkills 2011 in October 2011.
The Coaching Investment Programme, delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, provided over 7,200 coaches with up to 66% of the full cost of accredited coaching courses. It was delivered in partnership with Sport England and SportsCoachUK.
The £1.9 million Apprenticeship Expansion programme, delivered by SkillsActive’s National Skills Academy, recruited, trained, mentored and placed 1,115 apprentices in the sport and active leisure industry. Eighty-two percent of apprentices on the programme secured work, helping fill job vacancies at more than 200 England businesses. It was funded by the Skills Funding Agency and delivered in partnership with Lifetime Health and Fitness.
h1>Personal Best in the West Midlands
In the West Midlands Personal Best is funded by the European Social Fund and coordinated by SkillsActive and the Skills Funding Agency as part of the 2012 Inspirations project.
The Programme is being offered by the following training providers:
Karl with the Olympic Mascots
Karl and Amy with the LOCOG logo
The views over the Olympic site!
Karl had a fantastic day in London and you can read Karl's incredible Personal Best story here.
Please read the attached article telling the story of the successful work placements offered by national organisation Seetec for learners on the Sports Structures Personal Best programme.
Or see this Google Map for your nearest provider:
Check them out below:
Events Keep up to date with Personal Best and London 2012 related events, as well as other sporting, and cultural events taking place across the country.
Whether you are a learner, a training provider or a tutor please use the box below to tell us about your Personal Best experience. We want to hear as many stories as possible!
As the Personal Best provider/advisor/tutor please complete this form on behalf of your Personal Best learners who applied to be a Games Maker at London 2012.