Scouts who helped make the Games
Claire Weston, an Assistant Cub Scout Leader, and Richard Neville, an Assistant Explorer Leader, were just two of the volunteers selected as part of the 70,000-strong team of Games Makers, who were based across all of London’s Olympic venues.
The volunteer Games Makers were instrumental in ensuring that the Olympics were a success, and they also formed a key part of the closing ceremony as the UK paid tribute to their collective efforts and dedication over the last fortnight.
Two truly Olympic experiences
Claire and Richard have both been involved in Scouting for many years. During the Games they were based in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. Prior to this, Claire had also carried the Olympic flame as an official torchbearer, forming part of the Olympic Torch Relay in the lead-up to the Games. She proudly showed off her torch during the studio interview.
Richard explained why he got involved in London 2012: ‘It’s the Olympic Games, it’s a one-off event. It’s not going to happen again in London in our lifetime I very much doubt, so to be involved was great.’ Claire added, ‘We had to be part of it’.
Get more from volunteering
When asked about their dedication to volunteering, Claire affirmed: ‘Everyone’s been so enthusiastic, and so happy, vibrant and full of life for it all. Fingers crossed it will go on, and hopefully people will see the benefits of volunteering, and come and join the Scouts as volunteers.’
Richard explained his motivations in Scouting. ‘I am one of 100,000 adult volunteers that help with Scouts on a weekly basis. The issue we have is that we don’t have enough leaders. There are 35,000 young people who are waiting to join Scouting but can’t because there aren’t enough of us’.
So why do they both love volunteering? ‘It’s fun. It’s an adventure. You get to do things that you wouldn’t maybe necessarily get to do [normally], it opens new doors and opportunities, and it’s brilliant meeting new people. Most of my best friends are through Scouting ... it’s just amazing. It’s fantastic.’
Richard summed up his Olympic experience: ‘I was in the thick of it. I met so many great people, and it was such a great atmosphere – it was really, really good fun to do.’
Volunteering doesn’t stop when the Games end
The London 2012 Olympic Games has demonstrated how valuable the contributions made by volunteers can be, and also how being part of a national event or movement can give people a real buzz. Above all though, Games Makers have shown that volunteering is fun and fulfilling.
Just like being a Games Maker, becoming an adult volunteer in Scouting has immense value. Our volunteers are at the heart of our Movement, helping to deliver everyday adventure to thousands of young people aged from 6-25.
Inspire a generation
Scout groups are looking for volunteers who are positive and enthusiastic to help inspire a generation of young people in local communities throughout the UK. If you were inspired by stories like Claire’s and Richard’s, by your own experience as a London 2012 Games Maker, or if you think volunteering might be for you, then visit scouts.org.uk/join for a chance to make a difference to the lives of young people.
If you're already a Scout, you can also commemorate your group’s contribution to London 2012, whether you were directly involved in the Games, if you’ve been taking part in Our Sporting Adventure or any other Olympic-themed activity. Get your Olympic scarf and badge, inspired by London 2012, from Scout Shops.