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Thanks to all the M2002 volunteers

04 August 2002

During the last two weeks, over 10,000 volunteers have put in 1,260,000 hours work to make the Commonwealth Games a worldwide success story.

Games uniform

Recruited and trained by Games sponsors Adecco, the uniformed volunteers have become a familiar sight across Manchester during the Games as they have helped to ensure everything goes smoothly - from carrying medals to winning athletes to checking spectators’ tickets at venues.

To thank them for their dedication and enthusiasm, they will all be presented with a commemorative medal, along with a further 16,000 people who have played a part in the biggest multi-sport event ever held in the UK.

The medal is being given to the 26,000 people who have made the Games happen - volunteers, staff, athletes, technical officials and the cast of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

The medal, which is made of silver and produced at the Royal Mint, comes in a special presentation box with a card inside describing the significance of its unique design

On the front of the medal, which is not for sale, is the Games Spirit logo featuring three figures and the back features a contemporary design to reflect Manchester’s history.

The symbols include cobbles to represent the city’s Roman origins, the cotton flower to mark Manchester’s status as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, water for the canals and rivers which triggered the expansion of industrial Manchester, a railway to mark the first passenger railway station in the world, the internet highway, as the first computer was designed in Manchester, and the bee, the symbol of industry in Manchester.

Amy Parrish-Rett, head of the volunteer programme, said: “Our volunteers have done us proud. Their generosity, enthusiasm and friendliness has shone through and they have set a fantastic example for others around the world to follow.”

And some of the volunteers’ biggest fans are the athletes who have been competing for a different type of medal at the Games.

Table tennis player Pokannata Loatbne, from Kiribati, said: “The volunteers have become my new friends. They were very friendly and made my visit to Manchester very memorable.”

And John Robertson, EAD lawn bowler from Scotland, said: “The volunteers have been way above my expectations, they have been fantastic. They have been very helpful and always have a smile on their face.”

Four of the 10,000 volunteers who will be receiving the medal include:

Chris Rimmer, of Royton, Oldham - while driving VIPs around the city, Chris has been collecting her thoughts and those of her passengers in a special book she bought in Australia 12 years ago. She will give the book to her grandson Samuel, aged five, who at the moment is too young to understand what the Games is about. When he’s older, he’ll have a personal souvenir of his nana’s role at the Games.

Arthur Lynch, of Stockton-on-Tees - driver Arthur has been writing a diary about his Games experiences and is considering turning this into a book.

Georgina Hulme, of Northwich, Cheshire - Georgina, who has Downs’ Syndrome, is a master gymnast and has been working at G-Mex in event service, venue for the gymnastics, judo and wrestling.

Julia Greene, of Manchester - worked in the Main Press Centre at the helpdesk dealing with enquiries from thousands of journalists from across the world. Julia is soon moving to Australia where she hopes to work at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

More than 24,000 people applied to be a volunteer and the Volunteer Centre matched over 10,500 volunteers to a huge range of roles.

These include media and broadcast roles, helping with the protocol team, athlete, media and VIP accreditation, ticketing, transport, ushering and specialist services such as medicine, IT and sport.

Every volunteer received a full set of uniform, produced by ASDA, including a distinctive flat cap.

Our youngest volunteers are 16 years old and our oldest volunteer, who is 87 years old, will be working at the City of Manchester Stadium during the rugby sevens. 53 per cent of applications received were from women and 47 per cent from men.

Volunteers come from far and wide - there are 25 from Australia, six from Canada, two from Brazil and France, and more from Denmark, Ireland, new Zealand, Nigeria, Russia and Saudi Arabia. In the UK, applications came from as far afield as the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland and Scotland, with 80 per cent coming from the North West of England.

And around 700 volunteers have completed the Pre-Volunteer Programme (PVP), a unique scheme open to people from disadvantaged communities in the North West.

PVP participants enrolled on a nationally recognised course designed to develop skills and knowledge to act as an event volunteer and to improve their job prospects after the Games.

So once again, volunteers, you capped the Games off Crew 2002. So many people have commented on the high profile visibility maintained by you all and the helpfulness you displayed that has helped Manchester make its mark on the world over the last two weeks and before. Thankyou all very much.

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