Six local volunteers are set to make an impact at the London 2012 Games thanks to a helping hand from Blaby District Council.
The volunteers are gaining support through the Leicester and Leicestershire Games Maker Grant Scheme, which provides a bursary of £250 to go towards travel and accommodation expenses.
The scheme is the first of only three in the UK that is providing financial support to local Game Maker volunteers. It is providing bursaries for over 60 people in Leicester and Leicestershire, six of which are from the Blaby District.
Councillor David Clements, health improvement and corporate services portfolio holder at Blaby District Council, said:
“Volunteers are vital for the 2012 Games, but it is also a huge commitment. This scheme ensures those you wish to help get the financial support they need to do so, as well as making sure volunteers are in the place for the Games.”
Volunteers received their cheque at a presentation evening on July 5, at Sport Park, Loughborough University.
Ann Barwell, from Blaby, will be volunteering within event services at the Olympic Park. She said:
“Having recently retired from education, the grant will enable me to stay in London for the Games. I am in the mobility team helping people with disabilities and so there are some very early starts at the Olympic Park, some as early as 5.45am. Knowing that I can get there on time will make all the difference.”
Tim Walton, from Kirby Muxloe, is volunteering in control commission for the rowing at Eton Dorney. He said:
“Umpiring at rowing regattas takes me away virtually every weekend between April and late August and this is the very first time that I have been offered a contribution towards costs.
“Being a Games Maker at the Olympic regatta is a dream come true and the grant will help defray the considerable accommodation and travel costs that will be incurred during the 12 days that I am at DorneyLake.”
The Leicester and Leicestershire Games Maker Grant Scheme has been funded by Inspire LeicesterShire, Leicester-Shire and Rutland Sport, Blaby District Council, Charnwood Borough Council, Harborough District Council, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Leicester City Council, Melton Borough Council, North West Leicestershire District Council and Oadby & Wigston Borough Council.
Shimul Haider, 2012 Games Legacy Director for Inspire LeicesterShire, said:
“Volunteers are crucial to the successful delivery of the Olympic & Paralympic Games. Without them, the Games would simply not happen.
“It’s absolutely fantastic that with help from all our partners, we have been able to give some of our local Games Makers a financial hand and make their experience all the more rewarding.”