The Join In blog: Category "Volunteers"

Three generations of the Beany family have hockey as a big part of their lives
Three generations of the Beany family have hockey as a big part of their lives

“I have played and umpired for every team in the club!”

Three generations of the Beaney Family now call Surbiton Hockey Club home – for the weekends at least.


“My mother played so I was dragged along and once I was old enough I played alongside my mum in her team. I met my husband at the club and my sister met her husband playing there too! My children, Chris and Richard, both played and their daughters also play.

My husband and I started the Colts here in 1978. We charged 50p a time for the Colts every Sunday.


Recent News

Chris and the Olympic rings
Chris and the Olympic rings in Rio

Part 4: “He had me at air hockey”. Our man in Rio’s latest report.

Join In Legacy Volunteer Chris gets to know his new role in the Entertainment Centre at Rio 2016 and compares pins with a veteran of 14 Olympics.


Chris’ posts from Rio: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


Day 8

Second day of large delegations arriving into the Village intermittently but I was starting to suffer a case of the munndays.

The arrivals team, accreditation team, baggage and equipment logistics team and village transport team had all improved their processes, which is great for the incoming residents but it meant that our roles in the Welcome Centre team were reduced to being mere trolley boys and girls – up to four of us getting in each other’s way.


Mary is spreading the word about the many benefits of volunteering – and now off to Rio 2016.
Mary is spreading the word about the many benefits of volunteering – and now off to Rio 2016.

Mary heads over to join our Legacy Volunteers

Mary O’Leary – Games Maker, face of Making Time and now Rio bound – spreads the good word about volunteering.

“After all the preparations and planning, my day of leaving for Rio arrived on 27July. Mixed feelings of excitement, pride at getting to this day and exhaustion from packing.

I planned to wear my Join In Legacy Volunteer T-shirt on the flight and change once on the flight, but found the interest the tshirt generated a great help at discussing volunteering and spreading the word.


Legacy Volunteer Chris Thorn on the Rio 2016 giant letters
Chris is already hard at work in Rio!

Part 3: From a Canadian moose to Team GB HQ

Our Join In Legacy Volunteer Chris Thorn begins welcoming teams, delegations and officials – plus gets a sneak peak of where Team GB will be holed up during Rio 2016.


Chris’ posts from Rio: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4


Day 3

After Felipe’s transfer last night, today I started working in the Welcome Centre, just a couple of big tents along from the workforce check in area. It’s a big hub of baggage trolleys, accommodation check-in help desks, lots of people scuttling around to get the correct authorisation and using the right entrance or exit doors and some bean bags for a comfortable respite.


Some of Chris's fellow volunteers are helping out in Rio already
Some of Chris's fellow volunteers are helping out in Rio already

Part 2: Rio 2016 volunteer Chris settles into the Olympic Village

Chris Thorn is a Join In Legacy Volunteer. Having been a Games Maker at London 2012 he’s now able to share what he learned with the team at the Rio Olympic Village. But we’re not sure he can help the Canadians with their moose mascot…

I finally found out what my role of Village Workforce Operations team member meant – it was operating the workforce.

By that I mean scanning their accreditation after they come through the airport-style security, to ensure they are scheduled to work that day, how long their shift is and therefore to determine whether they get one or two meal vouchers. I distribute a few handy information sheets about the village and for their first shift give them a gift. (Hint – the tick tock is not quite as loud as the London 2012 ones).


Brazilian beach with Rio 2016 flip flops
Chris struggled with the terrible weather and dull landscape in Brazil!

Part 1: “The taxi driver couldn’t understand why I was traipsing halfway around the world just to wave an inflatable hand.”

London 2012 volunteer Chris Thorn has made his way to Rio, via Madrid, Sao Paulo and Fortaleza, ready to lend a hand. But not before he’s acclimatised with a few Itaipava beers and some exploration…


“Bom dia! So tomorrow is my first shift as a Rio 2016 Olympic Village Workforce Ops team member. Just under four years since my first shift in the sports viewing room team in London’s Olympic village.

Flying from Madrid to save money, I took the overnight flight to Sao Paolo, where I saw the sunrise and then jumped on another plane to Fortaleza. Greeted by an American taxi driver called Gerardo, who could not understand what I was doing traipsing halfway around the world just to wave an inflatable hand, carry an athlete’s discarded warming up tracksuit, or work in a back office doing admin – all at my own expense and with nothing more than a free hat to take home. Oh well, volunteering isn’t for everyone! (more…)

Dawn, centre, runs Guildford Saints FC with a great team of volunteers and members
Dawn, centre, with the walking footballers.

“Why not make a difference?”

Like many grassroots clubs across the UK, Guildford Saints FC wouldn’t survive without volunteers. But they do, thanks to having their very own saint, Dawn Davies: coach, director, mother, grandmother, administrator and BBC Unsung Hero award winner.

Why did you start volunteering?

My son started playing football at Guildford Saints FC aged 6. I felt it was a very well run club, well supported with lots of members. When the committee asked for more volunteers, I didn’t hesitate to put my hand up and say “I can do that!”. (more…)

Helen Curtis, bottom row middle, is one of the London 2012 volunteers heading to Rio.
Helen Curtis, bottom row middle, is one of the London 2012 volunteers heading to Rio.

Join In’s Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteers

A few lucky volunteers from London 2012 are off to Brazil for Rio 2016. Here we kick off their adventures…

As a London 2012 legacy charity, Join In takes pride in the Games Makers and the impact they had on volunteering across the country. Many of our volunteers started their journey at London 2012, so with Rio 2016 just around the corner it’s no surprise that these dedicated volunteers are off to Brazil, to play their part and get closer to the action.

To celebrate these outstanding volunteers we’ve selected a group of Rio 2016 Legacy Volunteers. These incredible volunteers will be our eyes and ears in Rio, keeping you up to date with the latest from behind the scenes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. (more…)

Tanni Grey-Thompson lends a hand at her daughter's canoe club.

Tanni Grey-Thompson gets involved

She’s won 16 Paralympic medals and the London Marathon six times, been appointed Dame of the British Empire, and served in Parliament. Oh, and she also moonlights as a canoe club volunteer.

At Join In, we admire people who don’t just stand on the sidelines and talk a good game. We appreciate those who roll their sleeves up and make a difference. Paralympic hero Tanni-Grey Thompson has been doing just this by lending a hand at Lower Wharfe Canoe Club. We caught up with Tanni and fellow volunteer Chris Kevane to get an insight into some of their inspirational work.

The Lower Wharfe Canoe Club is a family orientated club, with a base at Tadcaster Community Swimming Pool and Bishopthorpe on the River Ouse. The club has members of all ages and abilities and teaches canoeing and kayaking all the way up to international level, with its most successful paddlers going on to compete for Team GB. (more…)

Sue and Graeme – paired on and off the course.

A volunteering match

From marriage to matchplay – how one couple gave back to disability golf. Sue Robertson tells their story.

“I was 38 and a single mum of two. I met Graeme on, but unbeknown to us we lived less than a mile apart in Wokingham. After a fair bit of correspondence we decided to meet up the day after Graeme’s 40th birthday.

Typical us, we couldn’t decide where to meet so I ended up just inviting him over to watch the tennis together; and when he walked through my door at 6’4”, tall dark and handsome, I was totally smitten!

JI-Robertson_Sept2015 (more…)