Applications open for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth volunteers

The search to find more than 13,000 volunteers for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games has begun.

Ellie Simmonds in Pleck, helping out a litter picking group and highlighting the need for volunteers for the Commonwealth Games
Ellie Simmonds in Pleck, helping out a litter picking group and highlighting the need for volunteers for the Commonwealth Games

Applications have opened to coincide with Volunteers’ Week, with the aim of providing a community of passionate people with the chance to play a vital role in delivering the Games in just over a year’s time.

Organisers say the volunteers – known as the Commonwealth Collective – will be a dedicated and dynamic group that will reflect the diversity of the West Midlands as well as the modern Commonwealth.

They will be the public faces of Birmingham 2022 and represent the heart and soul of the Games experience for athletes, officials, spectators and a global audience of over one billion.

Five-time Paralympic swimming champion and Birmingham 2022 board member, Ellie Simmonds, joined volunteers to clean up Walsall ahead of the launch of the Birmingham 2022 volunteering scheme.

The Walsall swimming sensation surprised the members of World Against Single Use Plastic (WASUP) to join them to litter-pick at Pleck Canal.

Ellie worked with volunteers to help clean up the canal

The 26-year-old, who won five Paralympic gold medals, spoke of the importance of volunteering and how both of her parents are set to apply to be one of the almost 13,000 people who will offer their time.

She told the Express & Star: "It has been such a fun day and the weather has been beautiful, it's amazing to be here in Pleck with the guys from WASUP seeing the passion they have and also launching the applications for volunteering at the Commonwealth Games.

"Some of them knew I was coming and some didn't, it was nice to greet them all and learn about how they give up their time to clean up the waterways, not just in Walsall but also Cannock and Stafford and other areas.

"I live in London but I've been able to come up and see family too as my parents live in Aldridge, it's been really nice to be in this neck of the woods.

"Applications launch on June 1 and anyone can apply, no matter your background.

WATCH: Ellie Simmonds surprises Walsall volunteers

"There are 13,000 opportunities from kit carriers to first aiders and drivers, every skill is valuable.

"I know from my past from local competitions to Rio, the volunteers make these competitions happen.

"My mum and dad are going to apply and my coach, it's great to see my family and friends, but everyone out there can apply."

She added: “Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Commonwealth Games, the unsung heroes that allow us as athletes to succeed.

“Volunteering at WASUP was a fantastic way for me to give back to my local community in Walsall and I hope it inspires others to do the same.”

Ellie joined the World Against Single Use Plastic group

The majority of volunteer roles don’t need any formal experience or qualifications, with full training provided.

Roles include drivers, first aiders, meet & greeters, venue preppers, kit carriers, courtside assistants, and everything in between to help the Games run smoothly and create a unique experience right across the region.

Applicants must be aged 18 by January, 1, 2022 and can select preferred areas of interest which include Event Services, Accreditation, Transport, Sport and Media.

A young volunteer programme for 14-17 year olds will begin recruitment in the autumn.

John Crabtree, Birmingham 2022 Chairman, added: “The pandemic has seen so many wonderful examples of people coming together to support their neighbours and each other and has served to underline what we have always known – that we are stronger together.

“We will now see this first-hand at Birmingham 2022 with the formidable Commonwealth Collective.

“Our volunteers will be part of something special and the Collective will celebrate the unique qualities of each and every one of them.

“We know that together the Collective will be a shining example of the best of the human spirit.”

To apply and find out more, visit www.birmingham2022.com.

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