The Olympics are only three days old but one thing that has already shone through is the extraordinary job being done by the 70,000 or so volunteers who are ensuring that people enjoy the Olympic experience. And I am not just talking about those at the Olympic stadium. The thousands of volunteers who are on the streets of London in their fluorescent vests, who don’t wait to be approached, they approach members of the public and visitors to London to check they know where they are going. Same thing on the transport system. I experienced it first hand returning from the opening ceremony. All the volunteers were so incredibly cheerful, and many of them had been in post for more than twelve hours.
On my LBC show this morning I had an idea. It’s not often that happens, so bear with me. My idea was that everyone who volunteered for these games should be recognised by the award of a British Olympic Medal, or even the British Empire Medal. It would mean a lot to those who have volunteered and give them a memento of their work which they could look at with pride in the years ahead, and be a focal point for them to explain to their children in years to come what they did in 2012.
I put it to the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, and he seemed to think it was a good idea and he was already in discussions with LOCOG about how to recognise the tremendous effort of the volunteers. Let’s hope it happens.