London Montage

London Team Ambassadors

On 27 July 2010, i.e. two years to the date of the Olympics opening ceremony, Mayor Boris Johnson launched a scheme to recruit about 8000 people to become London Ambassadors.  They would be available at key sites around London to provide an additional resource to welcome visitors to London (both from overseas and the UK), in conjunction with other partners such as Visit London and transport operators.  The scheme runs from 9 July 2012 until after the Paralympics, although about one-third of the sites will not be open during the transition period between the end of the Olympics (12 August) and start of the Paralympic Games (29 August).  There will be 43 sites, including all London airports, mainline rail stations, the Southbank,, The Royal Parks, Trafalgar Square etc.  Here you will find the volunteers manning information “pods” which may be kiosks, desks or concertina style information panels – all in the distinctive Team London branding.  You will also see some mobile (electric) cars around  too.     You may already have spotted some of the information points which were set up in central London during the Diamond Jubilee weekend., but the first one scheduled to open is at the London Media Centre in Westminster.

The scheme has offered other offshoot opportunities, e.g. using the knowledge gained to work towards achieving further qualifications such as City and Guilds Level 2: Award in understanding stewarding at spectator events, or NVQ in Spectator Safety Level 2 and WorldHost Certificate. Vital “Heartstart” training has also been made available.  Additional “perks” were tickets for the Saracens-Harlequins rugby union match at Wembley Stadium, some complementary theatre tickets and an opportunity to obtain tickets in a ballot to attend a rehearsal of the opening ceremony – as well as provision of a uniform (though some may have doubts about the latter being a benefit!).  After the Olympic programme has been completed, Ambassadors have been told there will be some follow-up event(s) where their services will be required – including tree planting, but further details are as yet unknown.

Volunteers were used for the first time in 1948 when, for the second time, London was the host city for the Games – referred to as the Austerity Games, post WWII; so the volunteer programme is coming home to where it all began; therefore, this is the third time that London has hosted the summer Games, the first city to do so in the modern Olympics era.