Ten centres will train volunteers for London Olympics

The training centres will interview 16,000 applicants for the London Ambassadors Programme

Volunteers will answer queries from tourists
Volunteers will answer queries from tourists

Ten volunteer centres in London will recruit and train 8,000 volunteers as part of a £7m scheme to help tourists find their way around the city during the 2012 Olympic Games.

The centres, not yet appointed, will interview about 16,000 applicants for the London Ambassadors programme, which is being run by the London Development Agency and Greater London Volunteering.

The teams of volunteers will be based in central London and at major train stations and airports. They will give directions, answer questions and provide information about local restaurants and entertainment.

Kerry Tweed, chief executive of Greater London Volunteering, said the scheme had received start-up funding from the LDA but a commercial partner was also being sought. She said the scheme would cost about £7m to run.

She said GLV and the LDA had not yet chosen which 10 centres would be responsible for interviewing, selecting and training.

The centres would provide training on London orientation and cultural awareness for the volunteers, who would work from 20 July to 10 September 2012, Tweed said.

"There will be a tight schedule but we think it is feasible for each centre to interview about 1,600 people," she said. "The 10 centres will be able to draw in staff from other volunteer centres in London."

Each volunteer would receive free transport within the capital and a free meal for every shift they completed, according to Tweed. The application process for the scheme ends on 31 December and the volunteers will be interviewed in April next year.

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