What an honour and privilege it is to be part of the 8,000 strong London Ambassadors team supporting the Mayor of London and Team London to open up London as the most welcoming creative capital city in the world (cultural in the widest sense – arts, sports, heritage).
Little did I know that when over 4 years ago now when watching the Beijing Olympics Closing ceremony I would have been able to play the part I played in London hosting the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics Games for the global communities who have taken part. And what extras I would be gifted with through my desire to follow my dream and passion for sports (I was an athlete as a young person and avidly loved watching the Olympics on Grandstand).
To find out more how this story unfolds tune into 101.4 FM 12noon – 1pm 6th September 2012 to hear me share more about this story with Viv Oyolu www.dreamcorner.co.uk
I decided at that point I wanted to be involved and made up my mind to make the move back to London from Wiltshire where I was running Open To Arts and We Love Marlborough. At this time with no new contracts for work secured or place to live.
A chance meeting at the Notting Hill Carnival that very day, longer term, secured me a new housemate. All within 4 hours of me deciding to get involved. I moved back to London in December 2008.
Once back began the process of seeking out relevant opportunities to play my part in, to me what is, the greatest show on earth.
I applied to be a London Ambassadors as I am crazy in love with Old London town – its amazing multi cultural communities, it’s historic tales, architecture and everyday ability to wow, astound and generally perplex me. Being a volunteer and being given full permission to sing the praises of London seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.
So I applied, as did 67,999 other people from all around the world… and I was selected after a series of interviews to be part of the 8,000 team of Ambassadors who would be welcoming the world to London pre, during and between the Olympics and Paralympics Games 2012.
And the whole process has been awe inspiring both in terms of the people I have meet & connected with but the logistics of how The Mayor of London & Team London managed to coordinate the teams through to the personal touch at every level of the experience. We were gifted a free theatre ticket, discount with some stores plus got to break the World Record for the largest completed group treasure hunt… all good fun.
And for me I have gained so much more than the time and effort I have given over to be part of the team – I had the chance to mentor a young Olympic hopeful for Rio 2016, I got to see first hand how much a honest and shared experience of London can enhance new comers time here through to a random meeting in Marble Arch tube a ticket to the sold out Blur gig (that’s another story, as they say).
And through a chance reading of a Twitter posting about my pre-volunteering shift breakfast , complete with Instagram picture, I was contacted by Viv Oyolu, Dream Corner radio show founder to be interviewed about my volunteering in the Games and how this relates to me running my own business Open To Create.. and my passions for growing & sustaining creative individuals and communities.
So out of my love of London (my creative capital) and the 2012 Games and my want to give back in my own small way I have gained creative capital out of my desire to give back… in more ways than one.
What creative capital have you created through your experiences of giving back without really considering the return?
Do listen into Dream Corner show 6th September 2012
12 noon – 1pm
101.4 FM OnFM