Community champions to get Olympic preview

Thousands of people will get an exclusive look at the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony, Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell announced today.

As a thank-you for giving up their time for community work, devoted volunteers could be in line for one of the 2,012 pairs of tickets for the dress rehearsal.

It is one of the rewards of the national 25th Hour campaign which is based on the idea that everyone can all find the extra hour and more to make a difference.

Launching the scheme at the Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, Jowell said: "Millions of people want to be involved in the Olympics when it comes.

"This campaign will give them a chance to do that by pledging their time to get involved in their communities and by doing so having the chance to go see the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony.

"It's not just for people who like sport either. Whether you love culture, education or the environment, this is a movement everyone can be a part of."

The tickets will be among a range of London 2012-themed awards for "exceptional time givers".

The 25th Hour is separate to London 2012's volunteer programme which seeks to recruit 70,000 people to help the Games run smoothly.

Both schemes want to tap in to the enthusiasm for the Games and build a grassroots network of support.

From today people can go online at http://www.the25thhour.org - to pledge their time to help out in the regions where they live and work.

They will be able go online to find out what work will be available in their area from June.

A host of national sports organisations, charities and voluntary groups are backing the campaign.

More organisations are expected to be recruited in to the 25th Hour campaign in the run-up to London 2012 enabling the website to direct people to would-be opportunities and search by postcode and personal interest.

London 2012 chairman Lord Coe said: "Our vision is to use the power of the Games to inspire lasting change.

"They offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something extraordinary, to inspire everyone to use their passion to help others.

"The 25th Hour will allow all of us to make a contribution and achieve our own personal best and leave a lasting legacy in our communities."

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson, an 11-time Paralympic champion and trustee of v - The National Young Volunteers' Service said: "We're delighted to be supporting the 25th hour campaign, using the power of 2012 to harness the talents, energy and enthusiasm of new generation of young volunteers.

"The 25th Hour will inspire all of us, and especially young people, to make a contribution and achieve our own Personal Best. Together we can achieve something extraordinary if we find a little extra time."

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "The London 2012 Games bring with them a once in a lifetime opportunity to tap into people's enthusiasm for giving their time.

"Most people don't realise the positive impact one hour can make and the 25th hour campaign will help the many organisations in the capital and across the country that are looking for people to devote their time, energy and skills.

"There is great work in promoting volunteering already under way in London and I am championing at every opportunity the important role volunteers have to play before, during and after the Games".

Organisations backing the campaign include v - The National Young Volunteers' Service, ParalympicsGB, UK Athletics, British Cycling, Amateur Boxing Association of England, The Football Association, England and Wales Cricket Board, Rugby Football Union, Access Sport, UK Sport, English Federation of Disability Sport, London Coaching Foundation, CCPR, British Red Cross, Marie Curie Cancer Care, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, Breast Cancer Care, Catch22, Volunteering England, Volunteer Development Scotland, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Volunteer Development Agency, National Association for Voluntary and Community Action, Youthnet, UK Youth, Clubs for Young People, Duke of Edinburgh's Award, Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust, Media Trust, BTCV, The Waterways Trust, Natural England and Society of Editors.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
Arts and Entertainment
Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
tvBut Bianca Miller has taken on board his comments over pricing
News
in picturesWounded and mangy husky puppy rescued from dump
News
newsAstonishing moment a kangaroo takes down a drone
Life and Style
Duchess of Cambridge standswith officials outside of the former wartime spy centre in Bletchley Park
tech
News
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'