A man who knows a lot about volunteering is George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Development Scotland. Here George offers his perspective on our volunteer programme, the Games and shares his hopes for the impact of Glasgow 2014 on volunteering.
“A lot’s been said about the success of London 2012 and its legacy. It’s fair to say that much of that success can been attributed to the volunteer Games Makers.
"Since then, there’s been a real buzz around volunteering and with the Glasgow 2014 clock ticking on, we shouldn’t underestimate the impact volunteers can and will make.
"The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games has the potential to be a watershed for volunteering in Scotland. More than 50,000 people have offered to volunteer – a fantastic response that shows not only the level of anticipation that exists about the Games, but also the willingness of people to get involved in volunteering.
"The potential for social change is enormous and the team here at Volunteer Development Scotland is determined to do everything we can to make the most of this opportunity. That's why a piece of work we are involved in now is important – we’re setting out exactly how Scotland as a whole benefits from volunteering and co-coordinating efforts that will help to ensure the impact of volunteers on Glasgow 2014 is properly understood.
"An Olympic Games Maker study, commissioned by us, highlighted how beneficial London’s Games Makers found their experience. We’d like to see volunteering at big events become more widely available so those benefits can be enjoyed by more people.
"To ensure volunteers don’t miss out, we are raising awareness of the opportunities available through Event Team Scotland. Event Team links volunteers with opportunities to participate in the activity that goes on behind the scenes at some of the country's most exciting sporting, cultural and charity events.
"From a sporting point of view, I think a ticket for the Cycling at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will be hard to beat, but what I’m most looking forward to at Glasgow 2014 is the spirit of friendship that will be generated.
"The sight of people chatting and laughing on public transport, and smiling faces everywhere got people talking about the volunteers at London 2012. Well, Glasgow is hosting what are known as the ‘friendly’ Games and Glasgow is known as the ‘friendly’ city so I think these Games are going to be something special – hope you’re smiling!”
Glasgow 2014 is still over a year away, but you can get involved in volunteering right now. Read more about some of the volunteering opportunities available in Scotland.