Host City Volunteers hailed as the 'Heart and Soul' of Glasgow's best ever Commonwealth Games
Glasgow’s army of 1,500 Host City Volunteers have been hailed as the ‘heart and soul’ of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Host City Volunteers brought passion and pride to Glasgow’s streets, as they helped visitors to navigate around the city, providing information on the sports programme, Live Zones, and the many cultural activities the city will have on offer.
The volunteer programme is part of Host City Glasgow – a three-year project, led by Glasgow Life to help enhance the potential impact of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on civic pride, volunteering legacy, and communities in the host city. The £1.7million project was awarded £632,000 by the Big Lottery Fund, with other funding and support provided by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life. As the host city, Glasgow’s aim was to maximise opportunities for local people to feel connected with, and play an active part in, delivery of the Games. The project offered exciting opportunities to do just that, while welcoming visitors, and showcasing the city.
The Host City Volunteer programme targeted communities and groups that may have previously encountered barriers which prevented their involvement in volunteering. The volunteers, who all live, work or study in the city, received training and support with the hope that many will use the opportunity as a springboard to further enhance their own lives or those of their local communities.
Councillor Archie Graham, the Chair of Glasgow Life and Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "Our Host City Volunteers have been the face of Glasgow and are the real heart and soul of the city, offering a welcome that's bursting with warmth, passion and pride. The people of Glasgow have been the the magic ingredient that made for the best ever Commonwealth Games and I'm delighted that through the Host City Volunteer programme, we can support individuals and communities to be part of that.
"We're absolutely committed to ensuring that those who have faced barriers to volunteering, such as disabled people or those with caring responsibilities, are at the heart of the biggest celebration Scotland has ever seen."
The Host City Volunteer programme is providing additional support for those who require it, from helping to pay for transport costs, to providing dedicated training and operational support.
Volunteer, Elizabeth Miller, said: “I have been suffering from depression since losing my son, seven years ago and I am so glad I applied, as I realised I had it has been just the tonic I needed and I was missing so much of the outside world. It’s been an amazing experience and I’ve volunteered to work on the World Pipe Band Championship – it’s been a real pleasure.”
Cllr Graham added:
"They are Glasgow's best and our support will break down the barriers, allowing them to be the greatest of city assets long after the elite athletes have headed home."
The Host City Volunteers worked across the Festival 2014 Lives Zones at Glasgow Green, Merchant City, and the Kelvingrove Bandstand, as well as along active travel routes. They helped spectators and visitors with directions and information on city attractions and the Festival 2014 cultural programme.
The Host City Glasgow project will also deliver a flexible learning programme over the next three years, which aims to enable the city’s communities to engage with the delivery of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and future major event opportunities via a programme of interactive learning, citizenship, and volunteering.