London 2012

Host City Volunteer and Games Volunteer for the London 2012

The London 2012 Games volunteerism is recognized for its huge success in the volunteer operation, along with its significant contribution to the great success of the Games themselves.
The host city volunteers were called "Team London Ambassadors". They offered tourist information, transportation guide and Games information to London visitors at major transportation hubs and sightseeing spots etc. throughout London. The Games volunteers for the London 2012, on the other hand, were called "Games Makers", as they were seen to be in the center of Games-making.

Outline of the London 2012 Games

Jul. 27 to Aug. 12, 2012 (Olympics); Aug. 29 to Sep. 9, 2012 (Paralympics)
No. of games
26 sports with 302 events (Olympics); 20 sports with 503 events (Paralympics)
No. of athletes
Approx. 10,500 athletes from 204 countries and regions (Olympics); approx. 4,300 athletes from 164 countries and regions (Paralympics)
No. of spectators/sold tickets
8,200,000 (Olympics); 2,800,000 (Paralympics)

Host City Volunteer

- Team London Ambassador -
Operated by
Greater London Authority (GLA)
Worked for
International and domestic tourists
Offer tourist information, journey plans to the Games venues, information on nearby shops or toilets and various ongoing or upcoming Games-related events, etc.
At 43 locations of transportation hubs and sightseeing spots throughout London, each equipped with a dedicated information booth
Approx. 8,000 volunteers

More information

Games Volunteer

- Games Maker -
Operated by
London 2012 Organising Committee
Worked for
Athletes, Games officials and spectators
Support Games operation in the areas of supporting spectators, sporting events, communication at the venues, transportation, etc.
In and around the Games venues e.g. competition venues and Olympic Villages
Approx. 70,000 volunteers

More information

Team London Ambassador (Host city volunteer)

Recruitment window
Opened in January 2011
  • Age 16 or over as of January 2012
  • Allowed to work in the UK (i.e. in possession of British nationality or work visa)
  • Able to contribute five hours a day for six consecutive days
  • Able to undergo an interview and a three-day training
The Ambassadors offered a wide range of London visitor information including tourist information, journey plans to the Games venues, information on nearby shops or toilets and various ongoing or upcoming Games-related events, along with a hand-out tourist map.
Ambassadors were deployed at 43 locations covering London's transportation hubs including major airports and train terminals e.g. Gatwick Airport and St. Pancras station, and major sightseeing spots like Trafalgar Square. Each site had a dedicated information booth served by 2 to 24 volunteers per shift.
Activity period
A total of 65 days for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Activity time per head
In general, each Ambassador contributed six consecutive days, five hours a day.
Language support
Ambassadors capable of using another language(s) in addition to English wore one or more badges each carrying a message "I speak XX" in the foreign language they could speak. They made up almost 60% of the whole Ambassadors, speaking 92 different languages in total.
  • A photo of a city volunteer showing tourists the way on a mapBy courtesy of GLA
    Source: "Team London Ambassadors: A world in one city" @YouTube
  • A photo of the free tourist maps to be handed out to visitors by city volunteersBy courtesy of Ms. Juliette Llewellyn
    Team London Ambassadors, Mayor of London
  • A photo of one of the language badges worn by city volunteers capable of communicating in English and one or more foreign languages to show that they could speak the foreign language indicated on the badge

Volunteer activity in video

View these videos to find out how volunteers in Team London Ambassadors supported London 2012 Olympic Paralympic Games by providing visitors with information on tourist spots and convenient routes in London during the Game periods. Here, you can see a diverse team of people, made up of various ages, occupations, and nationalities, working as volunteers.

Legacy (sustainable social benefits from the delivery of the Games)
The London 2012 inspired over half of the Londoners to turn to volunteerism more than ever. Many of them took up volunteering for the first time ever in their lives. The Team London Ambassador volunteerism is still ongoing even long after the 2012 Games, for a limited period in summer and the Christmas season.

・Summer 2014/2015

  • A photo of a City Volunteer guiding some tourists in front of a certain sightseeing spot in Central London By courtesy of GLA
  • A photo of a City Volunteer answering to questions from tourists on the street By courtesy of GLA
  • A group photo of seven City Volunteers standing side by side at one of their bases in Central London By courtesy of GLA

・Christmas 2014

  • A photo of a City Volunteer guiding a tourist on the street in Central London at dusk
  • A photo of Piccadilly Circus bustling with tourists and Christmas shoppersLondon Ambassadors working at Piccadilly Circus bustling with tourists and Christmas shoppers

Games Maker (Games volunteer)

Recruitment window
Opened around the summer of 2010
  • Age 18 or over as of January 2012
  • Granted a UK charity worker visa in accordance with the UK immigration law
  • Able to commit throughout the Games time
  • Able to undergo pre-training sessions
Volunteers directly supported and contributed to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic games, by supporting spectators at the venues, communicating with spectators, supporting athletes and referees at the games operations, providing translation services to athletes, VIP guests and media, supporting medical staff at doping control process and others.
Volunteers were deployed at the Games-related venues and facilities including the competition venues, Olympic Villages and Press Centre.
Activity time per head
Each Games Maker contributed 8 hour shifts on average for about 2 weeks.
  • A photo of an Olympic or Paralympic volunteer directing the spectators by using a loudspeaker©IOC
  • A photo of Olympic or Paralympic volunteers gathered to receive instructions from a volunteer leader ©IOC

The photos with no credit or copyright in this web page were all taken by TMG.