City toast for Games show Hosts

THROUGHOUT the Games the Host City Volunteers helped to win Glasgow a new army of fans around the world.

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Lucy Macleod says she will never forget the experience
Lucy Macleod says she will never forget the experience

The sporting event may be over, but many of the volunteers will continue their roles at other events in the coming weeks and months.

Tomorrow they will form a guard of honour at Kelvingrove Art Gallery as ­athletes leave to take their places in a fleet of buses.

And around 20 Host City Volunteers will be on hand to help the crowds expected to line the streets to see Scotland's sporting heroes

Their contribution to the success of the sporting event will be recognised when they are invited to join the finale party in George Square.

Meanwhile across the city, 80 Host City Volunteers will be helping out at the World Pipe Band Championships which take place on Glasgow Green tomorrow and Saturday.

Glasgow's army of 1200 Host City Volunteers, who helped visitors navigate their way around the city, have been hailed as the heart and soul of Glasgow 2014.

The volunteer programme is part of a three-year project led by Glasgow Life to boost civic pride and volunteering.

The £1.7million project was awarded £632,000 by the Big Lottery Fund with ­other cash provided by Glasgow Life and the City Council.

The Host City Volunteer programme targeted communities and groups which may have previously faced barriers which prevented them volunteering.

More than 1900 people ­applied and each one was accepted although 1200 completed their training.

Compared to the Games' Clyde-sider volunteers who worked in and around venues, nearly four times as many people with disabilities volunteered and a large number of young people.

One in five were aged ­between 16 and 19 and one in 10 were aged between 20 and 24.

A third had volunteered for the first time and a fifth were from black and minority ethnic groups.

The programme specifically targeted older people, people with disabilities and people living in deprived areas of the city.

Volunteers will continue to get training now the Games are over in the hope many will use the opportunity as a springboard to ­further enhance their own lives or those of their local communities.

Glasgow Life chairman Archie Graham said: "Our Host City Volunteers have been the face of Glasgow and are the real heart and soul of the city.

"The people of Glasgow have been the magic ingredient that made for the best ever Commonwealth Games and I am delighted that through the Host City ­Volunteer programme we can support individuals and communities to be part of that."

The Host City Volunteer programme provides additional support for those who require it, from helping to pay for transport costs to providing dedicated training and operational support.

Lucy Macleod, 39, a personal assistant who lives in the South Side, was a volunteer at Kelvingrove Bandstand, the Clyde Walkway and George Square.

She said: "My first shift was at Kelvingrove bandstand for the opening ceremony and what a night it was.

"After two hours of talking to people my voice disappeared but my map reading skills had improved dramatically. Luckily I had a foam finger to direct people.

"Being a volunteer has been an experience which I will not forget."

vivienne.nicoll@eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

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