It was a mistake to think the Olympic and Commonwealth games would lead to more volunteering in the UK afterwards, a Parliamentary committee heard yesterday.
The comments were made by Baroness Jill Pitkeathley at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Volunteering and Civil Society. She was responding to a question on the lack of “bounce” to come from both the London 2012 Olympics and Commonwealth games in Scotland, asked by Martin Docherty, SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire.
Docherty asked: “In reality we are seeing no bounce in terms of volunteer uptake. I’m just wondering what was all the hullaballoo about?”
His question followed talk of a volunteering increase from the “Olympic legacy” and that of the Commonwealth games which were anticipated as a result of the momentum that the games brought to the UK.
Olympics and Commonweath games 'an easy gig'
Pitkeathley said: “As to the bounce from the Olympics and Commonwealth games, they were pretty easy gigs when it came to being a volunteer. You were treated very well, you had a uniform, and it was for a limited time. You didn’t have to deal with people slagging you off because you were 10 minutes late giving them a lift to the hospital.
“It was an easy gig. I think we were mistaken, perhaps, if we thought it would translate into the rather more difficult type of volunteering that we expected people to do.
Pitkeathley was chairing the APPG where William Shawcross and Paula Sussex, chair and chief executive of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, and David Robb, chief executive of the Office of the Scottish Regulator (OSCR), were speaking.
Shawcross agreed with Docherty that there had been a “lack of bounce” since the games, however said: “Perhaps I was cynical and didn’t really expect to see any bounce”.