There is no doubt that thousands of people have volunteered at the Olympics and helped make the games a success. Their breadth of roles and range of backgrounds is humbling.
But for any host country, the Olympics is a once in a lifetime event. The volunteering is specialised and time intensive and many people will have taken time off work to do it. The idea that come Monday August 13 there will be groups of people turning up to volunteer small amounts of time on a regular basis at their local charity is fanciful.
To inspire the next generation of volunteers, organisations need to capture the enthusiasm around the Olympics and carry it on to new opportunities. Volunteers will need to know which these organisations are and be encouraged to contact them. Organisations receiving these requests will need to act quickly: it’s no good a volunteer being told, “Sorry it took three weeks to reply, I was on holiday.”
The various steps in the chain will need to be funded, primed and ready to go, from next Monday.