AN army of volunteers from Hastings are heading to the Olympic Games, tasked with helping out throughout the two-week event.
More than 30 met at the Stade Hall for an informal get-together and photo call prior to the games starting today (Friday). To become a volunteer they had to go through a lengthy process which started by registering an interest back in 2006. Of the 240,000 applicants from across the UK, 100,000 were interviewed in London at ExCel, 70,000 being accepted. The volunteers have had to finance their own transport to London for training and find their own accommodation in London for the games or travel daily. The only concessions received have been the uniform, an Oyster card for travel in London when on duty and a meal voucher if working a shift for more than six hours.
Volunteers from 1066 Country will be working at the Olympic Park, Horse Guards Parade, ExCel, Wembley Arena and Heathrow. Jobs include transport, press, athletes’ services, print distribution and events services. Some will be at both the Olympics and Paralympics. Pamela Barden, who instigated the get-together, said: “Despite the negative press reports recently and having met with fellow volunteers at the Stade Hall and the Torch Relay it is clear that the enthusiasm for the games is growing. Everyone is getting more excited about their role in helping at this once-in-a-lifetime event.”