Mayor begins search for welcoming faces
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has fired the starting gun in the search for the 8,000 welcoming faces that will greet the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to descend on London for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Marking two years to go until the London Games Opening Ceremony, the Mayor launched the London Ambassadors programme, which is looking for people who have a passion for all things London to volunteer their time to give help and advice to our visitors arriving in 2012.
The London Ambassadors will play a crucial role in London’s welcome. From the moment people arrive by plane or train to the moment they leave, they need to feel their stay in the capital has been memorable. To ensure this happens the Mayor is looking for 8,000 volunteers who have charm and a real passion for London to become Ambassadors.
Located at one of 35 information booths across the city, such as transport hubs, outside Games venues, near to the City Live Sites, and close to tourist hot spots, they will provide much needed information. This will include the nearest docking station for London's bike hire scheme, directions to theatres and restaurants, and best route to take to the Olympic Park and events.
Wimbledon is playing an important part in the Olympics, with the All England Club hosting the tennis tournament and has its own pin badge (left).
You can register to apply for volunteering at www.londonambassadors.org.uk. The Mayor is looking for the Ambassadors to be as diverse as the London population, reflecting the capital’s cosmopolitan make-up, knowledge of different cultures, and the many languages spoken. LOCOG today also launched its campaign to find volunteers to help deliver the Games. LOCOG's volunteers will be known as 'Gamesmakers', and the public can find out if they have what it takes to be a Gamesmaker at www.london2012.com.
Hosting the Olympics and Paralympic Games is a historic moment for London and the Mayor is keen for as many people as possible to get involved and is looking for applicants of all abilities and disabilities. He is especially encouraging young people to get involved and has opened up registration to applicants who will be 16 years old by 1 January 2012. Anyone new to volunteering is especially encouraged to take part.
The Mayor is also working with a variety of businesses, both large and small, to encourage them to allow their employees to take time off to volunteer.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: "Everything I do in this job is geared towards showing off this city at its best - safer, stronger, greener, cleaner and more creative, dynamic and inspiring than ever. When the world descends on our doorstep in 2012 we need an army of ambassadors to provide the welcome and hospitality that will ensure their friends and family will return for many years to come to experience the electric atmosphere of the world’s top city.
"We can’t do this alone so we’re looking for London Ambassadors to lead on the frontline. If you are passionate about London, love this city like I do and want the world to know the great story we have to tell here then please register your interest online. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and everyone in London has a role to play – don’t let it pass you by."
The London Ambassadors programme is managed for the Mayor by the London Development Agency. The London Development Agency's Group Director for Learning and Skills, Brendan Loughran said: "The London Ambassadors programme will ensure that visitors to London receive a world class welcome with friendly and knowledgeable Londoners able to help at the key locations around the capital. We are inviting people with a passion for London to register their interest on the London Ambassadors website. During games time London will have a team of highly trained and highly motivated volunteers ready to welcome the world. This will ensure that visitors return to the London again and again.”
The Mayor also used the landmark date to call on all Londoners to take part in hosting the Games, regardless of whether they are London Ambassadors or directly linked to the Games. While the London Ambassadors will be on the frontline of the welcome experience for visitors, all Londoners have a role to play from being helpful to our visitors, to cheering on Team GB Paralympians and Olympians. London Ambassadors are one part of the overall visitor welcome programme and City Hall is working with many partners to ensure anyone in a public facing role will give a memorable welcome to visitors.
The London Ambassadors will be working the stations, streets, parks and airports of the capital for the full duration of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, 53 days in total.
July 29, 2010