As Michael Phelps packs away his trunks and Victoria Pendleton sticks her bike back in the shed, Red Cross volunteers are also taking a well-earned breather after helping almost 1,000 people during the Olympics.
By the time the Games closed on Sunday night, volunteers had helped 975 people at locations across London and further afield. The Red Cross provided first aid for passengers at five busy London train stations and for crowds in Weymouth, which hosted the Olympic sailing events, during two weeks of top-quality sporting action.
Volunteers also offered first aid at big screens and an Olympic-themed exhibition – while some helped out in Kingston as Bradley Wiggins raced through the town on his way to cycling gold. Teams of volunteers worked 1,872 shifts to keep people safe while the running, throwing and lifting was in full swing.
They’ve been ready for whatever challenge comes their way, from junior windsurfers needing a hand on the sand to teenagers toppling over in the heat. In Weymouth, Kay Hearson said: “Working here with the other volunteers at this amazing event is incredible.”
And even when they were off duty, Red Cross volunteers helped make the Games a success. Some carried the Olympic flame on its journey round Britain and two London-based volunteers, Marcellina Priadi from Crystal Palace and Giorgio Cacioppoblum from Tower Hamlets, joined a cast including the Spice Girls and The Who to dance in Sunday’s spectacular closing ceremony.
Some haven’t even reached the home stretch yet. Many will return to provide support during the Paralympics, which take place from 29 August to 9 September.