Volunteering Profiles – London 2012 Changing Places’ Elizabeth Case

It can hardly have escaped anyone’s notice that the London 2012 Games is just round the corner.  JVN has been privileged to be involved with the Games – via the www.visitjewishlondon.com website – and with a variety of LOCOG volunteering teams. So without further ado – and very appropriately for International Women’s Day – over to an amazing London 2012 volunteer.

Elizabeth Case - London 2012 Changing Places volunteer extraordinaire

Elizabeth Case - London 2012 Changing Places volunteer extraordinaire

Hello there, who are you?
Hi, I’m Liz Case and I’m a Trailblazer volunteer for London 2012 Changing Places Programme.  Well all I can say is that it’s great!  Great to be involved in London 2012 and great to be involved in a project which will leave a legacy for the communities of the Olympic boroughs

What does your volunteering role involve?
I volunteer one day a week, helping with event communication.  My daily tasks can include writing a newsletter or event invitation, contacting voluntary organisations and getting feedback from volunteers.  I also work with our partners, London Wildlife Trust, Thames 21 and Lee River Valley Park Authority on arranging our volunteer days – the most important question being: where are the loos going to be!

That sounds really fun and engaging!
It really is.  One of my favourite days so far has been doing a stand at a student volunteer fair.  It was brilliant to meet our potential volunteers in person. I was bowled over by their volunteering spirit.

Volunteers from Deloitte help a student from Eastlea Community School cut back vegetation at Three Mills Island Bromley-by-Bow, London

Volunteers from Deloitte help a student from Eastlea Community School cut back vegetation at Three Mills Island Bromley-by-Bow, London

What happens on your volunteer days, apart from loo breaks that is?
At our volunteer days, we take a neglected area and transform it by clearing out rubbish and scrub and making it a better habitat for wildlife and human residents.  When I did my first Changing Places volunteer day, it quickly became personal between me and a thicket of brambles. Ending in a draw, the bramble thorns scored a few direct hits but the thicket was cleared, I felt I’d had a really productive day.  An extra benefit was seeing a part of London I didn’t know.

Why did you volunteer for the role originally?
I’m very inspired by London and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. London is a city to be proud of. It’s made great by the diversity of its citizens and the richness and heritage of their cultures.  I’m inspired by the spirit of inclusion in London 2012 . My colleagues and fellow volunteers come from all over the world, some with different physical abilities, and all are valued for the positive contributions they are making to give the world and London a great Games. The London 2012 departmental bake- offs– yum-yum- are an added bonus, they certainly add to the volunteer experience!

Volunteers from the Outward Club spend a day helping at the East Reservoir Nature Reserve in Hackney - the Club brings together people with learning disabilities who want to volunteer and improve London

Volunteers from the Outward Club spend a day helping at the East Reservoir Nature Reserve in Hackney - the Club brings together people with learning disabilities who want to volunteer and improve London

How can people get involved with the London 2012 fun, if not the bake-offs?
Changing Places has a series of volunteer events coming up, where we’d really welcome some extra person power. If they’re happening in your area – why not bring your friends? The tasks that we’ll be undertaking at the events are really broad and include everything from meadow planting to cleaning up the waterways from a canoe.  You’ll get dirty, sweaty and have a huge amount of fun – you just need to come with plenty of energy ready to make a difference. If this sounds up your street, then contact: changingplaces@london2012.com – we’d love to meet you!

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Categories: Olympics, Volunteering, Volunteering Profiles

Author:Mike

Hi, I'm Mike, JVN's Youth Co-ordinator and blogger. I'll be blogging about all sorts of issues affecting the volunteering community, with a particular focus on how recent developments might affect the UK Jewish community's volunteers. I'm always interested to read the comments you make. If you have something you want to see in the JVN blog, e-mail me at mike@jvn.org.uk and I'll be happy to talk. And if you're inspired by any of my blogs to volunteer, log on to www.jvn.org.uk and register to find your perfect volunteering opportunity.

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