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Happy National Volunteers’ Week!

We’re so grateful for our amazing team of Park Champions, who have volunteered over an incredible 76,000 hours of their time since 2014! They have helped over 38,000 Park visitors through the Mobility Service and have welcomed and helped over 253,800 from the Park’s Information Point since 2016.

The services we provide are key to an enhanced customer experience and whether it’s from the Information Point, through Mobility Services, guided tours or at events, we couldn’t do it without our volunteers! Our Conservation Park Champions are Biodiversity heroes and get their hands dirty improving the parkland and its habitats. This increases the Park’s wildlife and contributes to the Park looking great – Thank you!

It’s been such a pleasure to be able to stay in touch with so many Park Champions during these uncertain times and being able to continue seeing them (virtually) has made our day! They have inspired us by wearing their pink uniform at home, helping each other, sending us photos of their arts and crafts and so much more. Our week’s highlights are connecting with them all and seeing their smiling and friendly faces! We can feel their passion for the Park from across London and beyond and for this, a massive thank you to them all!

Tomorrow we’ll be raising a glass in honour of National Volunteers’ Week and to thank them for all their hard work, we invite you to do the same, and thank your local volunteers!

CAPRI is back!

CAPRI is back!

We are looking for volunteers to get involved with the CAPRI project.

Autonomous PODs will be trialled for use by the public between 9 and 20 March. The PODs are Westfield Technology Group built 4-seater electric vehicles that will carry members of the public on-demand on a pre-defined route. To access the services, members of the public will be able to request a trip at a manned stop along the route.

To get involved, sign up here.

Boxing Road to Tokyo

Boxing Road to Tokyo

Our Parklife is recruiting volunteers for an exciting event coming up onto the Park: Boxing Road to Tokyo.  

In March, more than 350 boxers from more than 40 countries will take part in the Boxing Road to Tokyo European qualifying event at the Copper Box Arena. Seventy-seven male and female boxers will secure qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The competition is sanctioned by the IOC and will take place across eight men’s and five women’s weight categories. 50 qualification places are available for men and 27 for women.  

Volunteers are required to assist the arrivals and accommodation team as well as take on roles in sports information and spectator and venue services. Please apply here, stating the role and shifts you are interested in. 

Volunteer get-togethers

Our Park Champion Volunteers are the eyes and ears of the Park, and many of them are local residents who have seen the area change and evolve over many years. As the Park is such a dynamic place, changing all the time we like to ensure our volunteers are fully up to date with everything that’s happening.

Throughout the year we organise get-togethers for our Park Champion volunteers to hear directly from Park experts, local businesses and future partners. This is also a great opportunity for volunteers to meet socially and share their knowledge. You have to be a registered volunteer to sign up, so if you’re interested, complete the registration form here.

In 2016 we organised get-togethers with the following partners:

Laing O’Rourke – Here East

Lee and Stort – A boat trip on the River Lee

Phil Askew, LLDC – The Parklands

LLDC – Future Plans of the Park

The ArcelorMittal Orbit

The V&A

L&Q – Chobham Manor residential development

East Village

Career workshop

In January 2020, UEL/West Ham United Foundation students in sports management participated in a career workshop with the ENGIE Park team. This workshop allows students to have an insight into the world of Facilities Management including soft services, hard services, security, visitor services and events so that this can then be applied to their courses.

The students were then provided with a number of role-play scenarios set in our venues which aimed at getting students to think about Facilities Management and the many challenges faced on a regular basis. They were provided with briefings and tasked with creating innovative solutions to tackle real life operational challenges.

To arrange or enquire about this, please email: dwayne.joseph@engie.com

Our Parklife team wishes you a Happy New Year!

Thank you to all the Park Champions who have responded to our end of year survey. With over 220 responses, the data we have collected will clearly help us shape the programme. We will respond to the ideas, potential areas for improvement and issues raised in the following month. 

It was a pleasure to read your highlights of the year and great to see that the satisfaction rate of the programme is over 82%.

As a thank you, everyone who completed the survey was entered into a prize draw.

And the winners are…

1. Nawal Adam, winner of a £30 shopping voucher
2. Gloria Allberry, winner of two tickets to the ArcelorMittal Orbit
3. Mary Oatey, winner of a guaranteed space for the volunteering opportunity of your choice

For more information, please click https://www.londonhalf.com/

Our Park Champions & MLB Diamonds 2019 celebration event

It was a pleasure to host our annual celebration event on Thursday 26 September. 

It was a great evening that gave us the opportunity to say thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who have already contributed over 14,500 hours to the Park this year. We hope all Park Champions and stakeholders had a great time and we thank you all for coming!

It has been another fantastic year where the volunteers have welcomed and advised visitors, guided them through the Park both on foot and on the buggy, got their hands dirty creating wildlife habitats, monitored butterflies, helped keep the parkland tidy and supported over 40 events. The volunteers help has been essential to the Park and the good running of our services and we couldn’t have done it without them.

We are now looking forward to another exciting year in 2020! The East Bank developments will bring a number of new stakeholders and with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games coming up, the Park will host a number of exciting sporting event qualifiers. Once again, another year means the development of new exciting roles, fantastic events and millions more visitors to the Park. So, keep your eyes peeled for exciting new opportunities; there will definitely be something for everybody to get involved with. 

Congratulations to Edward on winning Volunteer of the year!

Park Champions have voted and Edward has been awarded Volunteer of the Year!

Edward has been a Park Champion since the very beginning and has contributed thousands of hours of his time to the Park. From being a Buggy Driver to a Community Guide, an Event Volunteer or a Team Leader, Edward’s passion for the Park transpires in all his roles. Always enthusiastic and ready to help customers and fellow volunteers alike, Edward is a real asset to our team and definitely deserves this recognition.

Congratulations Edward! It’s a real pleasure to have you in the team!

Congratulations to all our volunteers of the month who made up the shortlist for the Volunteer of the Year award:

  • Olive Wenborn
  • Janet Lowe
  • Neal Glucksmann-Smith
  • David Rowley
  • Maggie Mathison
  • Alan Stevens
  • Peter Barry
  • Angela Daniels
  • Lynne Ellis
  • Brigitte Glucksmann-Smith
  • Keith Gabriel
  • Edward Wingate

Our Biodiversity Champions were proud to receive the Volunteer Group of the Year award!

The Biodiversity Champions have made a hugely valuable contribution to the Park and the aims of the Biodiversity Action Plan. Our team of Photo Champions have been capturing the changing Park for the past few years, a historical record that has also helped us in managing and looking after the habitats. They have taken well over 2000 photos as part of the project! This year, we added a new team of champions to monitor butterflies – although this is a new group, they have worked hard over the summer months to collect data on the Park’s butterflies and have submitted hundreds of records so far. The Biodiversity Champions are a dedicated and enthusiastic team and winning group of the year is well-deserved!

MLB Gold Team

Over 300 volunteers were recruited and trained, ready to be deployed for the MLB event on June 28-30.

Across the weekend, volunteers from all backgrounds, with all types of skills and from all ages (11 to 73!) gave up over 5,700 hours of their time to enhance the customers journey and provide the unique American baseball experience.
And the winners were…the Record attendance Team and Team Leaders!

A team of MLB Diamonds have dedicated 34 hours of their time during the 3 event days, always ready to assist and sharing their enthusiasm and energy with customers.

The MLB Diamonds Team Leaders’ role was essential to the good running of the event and the volunteer programme. Whether in the London Stadium or on the last mile, team leaders looked after their team with energy and positivity, allocating breaks and ensuring their safety and welfare. On top of this, they also took on their MLB Diamond role of welcoming and assisting customers, ensuring that everyone had an outstanding experience for this historic event as the Boston Red Sox met the New York Yankees for the first ever Major League Baseball game taking place in Europe. Team Leaders ensured that their team members had the recognition they deserved and it’s our turn to ensure that they get theirs.

Thank you all for your hard work!

East Works Awards 2018

This year the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) East Works Awards, (formerly the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Apprenticeship Awards) took place on 1st November 2018 at Here East on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It is an annual celebration of the diversity of talent, innovation and businesses on and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park who participate in the LLDC East Works programme.

The East Works programme is a social-economic programme that seeks to connect the people of East London to the different opportunites created in and around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. With a focus on four themes; Work Skills, Working Capital, School Work and Work Places.

The evening began with a drinks and food reception for everybody to network and to showcase the brilliant case studies of the nominees. Taking a seat in the theatre hall, everybody was treated to a dance showcase by Kloe Dean, Myself UK Dance Company. With the evening presented by Sonita Alleyne and Jone da Cruz, a former apprentice on the park who worked his way up to site manager for construction company.

The highlight of the evening was our very own Ricky Quy who was victorious and came away with the coveted Individual Achievement of the Year award. Ricky began his journey back in November 2017 on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park where he completed a short work trial as a Cleaning Operative at the London Aquatics Centre where he demonstrated a dedication to completing his role to the highest standard which led him to secure a full-time position on the Park. Prior to this role Ricky had suffered from anxiety and a lack of confidence which had stopped him from working in the past.  Groundwork and ENGIE  continue to work closely together to support Ricky in his role and demonstrates that he understands the demands of the role, asks lots of questions and is now a ‘go to’ member of the team who colleagues depend on and respect. He is reliable, committed and a real credit to a team that works incredibly hard to keep one of the most iconic venues in the Park spotless!

Ricky is one of 250 people who have started work through Able Capable Employed (ACE).  Groundwork London is hoping to support a further 600 people into work through the programme. ACE provides tailored employment brokerage for individuals living with a disability or long term health condition. Each person works with an employment coach who provides specialist advice, wage subsidies and job matching.

ACE  is funded by Building Better Opportunities (BBO). Building Better Opportunities brings together funding from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund (ESF).

If you are an employer who would like to talk to us about offering ILM job opportunities or an individual who is looking for support to get into work, please contact the ACE team at Groundwork London on 020 7922 1230 or email ace@groundwork.org.uk

Ricky Quy – Winner of the Individual Achievement of the Year 2018

Adam Mitton (ENGIE), Ricky Quy (Winner), Graham Parry (Groundwork)

The evening ended in all the individuals who have taken part in the East Works programme presented with a Making It Happen award. In recognition of their efforts and commitments over the past year. They all represent the best of what East London has to offer.

Making It Happen Winners (Left to Right); Aimee O’Connor, Ricky Quy, Issahaku Wuni, Joel Brittain

Here is the full list of winners:

Apprentice of the Year: Jack Connolly

Individual Achievement of the Year: Ricky Quy

Intern/Trainee of the Year: Michelle Nyachuru

Employer of the Year: The Camden Society at Union Kitchen Café, Timber Lodge

Innovation of the Year: STEP

Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion: The Camden Society at Union Kitchen Café, Timber Lodge

LLDC Ambassador Award: Lianne Peterkin

Entrepreneur of the Year: Johnson Wong

Education Partnership of the Year: Class Of Your Own

Making It Happen Partnership of the Year: Flipside


Our Annual Park Champion Celebration 2018!

This year over 80 Park Champions and Stakeholders came together for our Annual Celebration of our Park Champions at The Timber Lodge on 11th October 2018. It was an amazing evening consisting of speeches from stakeholders, awards, food and drink to celebrate all the amazing hours that the Park Champions have invested in the last year.

In 2018, volunteers have dedicated over 10,000 hours this year. This was achieved through a number of ways from welcoming guests at the information point, the running of the mobility service across the park, educational visits, community guiding, conservation works and a vast number of events throughout the year – including Beyoncé, The Rolling Stones, West Ham United, London Lion matches and much more!

We are sure that 2019 will be another exciting year for our Park Champion Volunteers continuing the great work connecting the local community to the park and providing support for the thousands of visitors the park receives each year whether it be at concerts, sport events, school visits or the mobility service.

Park Champion Celebration 2018

And it ‘s Bronze, Silver and Gold to the Park Champions!

Gold, Silver and Bronze pins were awarded to those volunteers who have dedicated over 50 hours (Bronze), 100 hours (Silver) and 150 hours (Gold) in 2018. It is our way of saying thank you for all the hard work and effort the volunteers put in all year round rain or shine!

Bronze Pins Awardees

Silver Pin Awardees

Gold Pins Awardees

Volunteer of Year goes to….Hilary Victor!

As voted by our Park Champions Hilary sweeped to Victor(y) to claim Volunteer of Year.

Hilary Victor, Park Champion Volunteer of the Year

Hilary has already volunteered over 400 hours this year and has been involved in a range of roles. Hilary’s enthusiasm is incredible and makes her not only a fantastic team member but also a very knowledgeable guide for Park visitors.

Congratulations to all that were shortlisted for the award:

  • Hilary Victor
  • Jenny Marshall
  • Gary Lipson
  • Nick Lane
  • Ben Waite
  • Pat Cutler
  • Maggie Mathison
  • David Lomath
  • Ray Ellis
  • Alison Cowie
  • David Pearlman
Volunteer Group of the Year winner: Team Leaders

Whilst it was a close call this year between all our finalists, the Team Leaders have been and continue to be an essential aspect to the programme. From being a great help to the Information Point Duty Managers or the go between for event organisers and the volunteers. The Team Leaders are leading by example in everything they do and have gained their team’s respect. Always helpful, positive, professional and knowledgeable, they are a real gift to the programme.

Team Leaders, Volunteer Group of the Year

Congratulations to all that were shortlisted this year:

  • Community Guides
  • Team Leaders
  • London Lions Team
  • Buggy Drivers
Partner of the Year Winner: International Quarter London

Park Champions have been delivering tours for International Quarter London since October 2017. First welcoming Transport for London employees onto the Park with a weekly 45 min lunch time tour of the South Park, Park Champions have continued this service for the Financial Conduct Authority and Unicef this Summer. Over 200 employees have attended these tours and the feedback we’ve received has been great!

Our Parklife has also worked with IQL to activate the gardens with activities for their tenants, both employees and residents. Hundreds of flowers and herbs were planted as part of the workshops delivered.

IQL, Partner of the Year

A big thank you to all partners shortlisted at this year’s event:

  • London Stadium 185
  • International Quarter London
  • London Lions Basketball Club

We look forward to seeing everybody again next year!

Our Park Champions celebrated!

Annual Park Champions Celebration 2017
Annual Park Champions Celebration 2017

Over 110 Park Champions and stakeholders joined us for our annual celebration at The Last Drop on 28 September 2017. It was an amazing evening celebrating the contribution of the volunteers who have participated in a range of activities over the past year.

Volunteers dedicated over 11,000 volunteer hours in 2017; providing information, welcoming guests, guiding them around the Park, delivering the mobility service at the information point, supporting the vast number of events – including West Ham United and London Lions matches, Shell Eco-Marathon and 64 bits – and getting their hands dirty in our conservation and gardening sessions.

We are looking forward to another exciting year in 2018. There will definitely be something for everybody to get involved with. Once again we will be running our hugely successful customer and mobility services as well as continuing to develop our community guide role.

Congratulations to our Park Champions!

Gold, silver and bronze pin badges were awarded as a way of saying thank you to our Park Champions for their enthusiasm, energy and dedication; bronze for 50 hours of volunteering, silver for 100 hours and gold for 150 hours.

Park Champions voted Mark Orton as our Volunteer of the Year!

Our volunteers of the month made up the shortlist for the Volunteer of the Year award:

  • Frank Scavera
  • Mark Orton
  • Oluwafunmike Akande
  • Edward Wingate
  • Shirley Henry
  • Anne Jennings
  • Graham Soames
  • Peter Barry
  • Catherine Ellis
  • Richard Darby

Volunteer of the year: Mark Orton
Volunteer of the year: Mark Orton

Mark Orton was voted as the winner by fellow Park Champions and has already volunteered over 700 hours this year. Mark is a fantastic team member and also a team leader who always leads by example, ensuring everyone is having fun!

Volunteer Group of the Year: Community Guides

Those shortlisted for the Volunteer Group of the Year award were:

  • Orchard Leaders
  • Community Guides
  • Team Leaders

Volunteer Group of the Year: Community Guides
Volunteer Group of the Year: Community Guides

Our Community Guides volunteers were proud to receive the Volunteer Group of the Year award. Community Guides were trained to deliver guided walks around the Park for local groups including Loughborough University Students, the ArcelorMittal Orbit new starters and Chobham Manor residents. A total of 320 volunteer hours have been devoted to training and the delivery of this service in the first year of its operation. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with incredibly high satisfaction scores on every walk.

Partner of the Year: London Stadium 185

The nominees for the Partner of the Year award were:

  • West Ham United Football Club
  • London Stadium 185
  • Here East
  • GLL
  • London Lions Basketball Club

Partner of the Year: London Stadium 185
Partner of the Year: London Stadium 185

London Stadium 185 (LS185) offered a unique opportunity to Park Champions to volunteer over four concerts. Park Champions gave up over 1,050 hours of their time to enhance the customers’ experience. Park Champions adapted themselves to the needs of each concert, providing feedback that allowed LS185 and the Our Parklife team to act swiftly and offer an even better experience at the next fixture. LS185 and the Our Parklife team trained over 10 Park Champions who are now Stadium Team Leaders as a result of the concerts.

Highly Commended: West Ham United
Highly Commended: West Ham United

West Ham United Football Club received the highly commended award for the opportunities offered to volunteers since their move to London Stadium. The Park Champion role had a real impact on both the club and volunteers as individuals. Following a successful pilot programme, West Ham United decided to take on an internal team of Supporters Liaison Officers (SLO), employing 16 Park Champions to assist during home games. West Ham United continuously praises the Park Champions who are part of their SLO team.

Best Collaboration: Tower Project

The nominees for the Partner of the Year award were:

  • Canal & River Trust
  • London 2017
  • Tower Project
  • Loughborough University London

Best Collaboration: Tower Project
Best Collaboration: Tower Project

Tower Project and Our Parklife have been collaborating since 2015, offering six week programmes where students with special educational needs from local schools join our customer service team volunteering one to two days a week. Over the course of the six week placement, students work towards an Entry Level 3 accredited training in customer service, learn about the Park’s diverse facilities, activities and events and the range of careers available on the Park – everything from visitor services to security, engineering, cleaning and grounds maintenance.

Graham Smithers, Head of Services, Tower Project, Job Enterprise and Training Service (JET) said: “We would like to thank Our Parklife for their help with young people with special educational needs in East London. Just 7% are in paid employment and schemes like this will go a long way to ensure that more young people with learning disabilities will gain paid employment in the future either at the Olympic Park or at similar thinking establishments.”

Highly Commended: Loughborough University
Highly Commended: Loughborough University

Loughborough University London received the highly commended award for their work with Park Champions and Our Parklife. Over 2016 and 2017, we have promoted the benefits of volunteering to students and helped make them feel even more a part of the Park by becoming Park Champions. It has resulted in Our Parklife creating a bespoke role for the media students, in partnership with the London Lions Basketball team. The students’ role is to interview the London Lions players, gaining experience in the video editing field as well as a great exposure to working at events.

Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate another fantastic year for the Park Champions programme and our dedicated Park Champions who are a vital part of life at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

If you want to find out more about volunteering on the Park, please get in touch with us here.