Applications opened today 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.
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.
The volunteers that join the Commonwealth Collective 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. The Games is the largest sporting and cultural event ever to be held in the West Midlands and the biggest in the UK for a decade.
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.
The 13,000 volunteers who form the Commonwealth Collective will receive approximately 250,000 hours of training and complete one million hours of volunteer time.
Applicants must be aged 18 by 1 January 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.
25,000 shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview at the Volunteer Selection Centre between September and December 2021, which will be held at the iconic Library of Birmingham. Successful volunteers will be notified with a role offer from January 2022.
Five-time Paralympic swimming champion and Birmingham 2022 board member, Ellie Simmonds, said: “Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Commonwealth Games, the unsung heroes that allow us as athletes to succeed. Volunteering at Birmingham 2022 will be a unique opportunity to contribute to the community and experience a home Games, so I’d encourage people of the West Midlands to submit an application. Even my parents and my coach are going to apply!”
John Crabtree, Birmingham 2022 Chairman, commented: “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.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands noted: “This is an incredible opportunity for residents across the West Midlands, and in particular young people, to get involved in the Commonwealth Games. We know these Games are going to be a once-in-a-generation moment for our region, so we must get as many people as possible involved.
“Everyone who volunteers will be given extensive training, helping them gain key skills to help with future job prospects. We are also of course using the Games to provide extensive employment opportunities alongside the volunteering roles.”