New speed volunteering app launched to get more Londoners volunteering

The Mayor today witnessed first-hand the impact that speed volunteering is having on lives across the capital, as he launched a new app – the first of its kind in the country – to make it easier for more Londoners to become volunteers.

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As London begins its year as the European Volunteering Capital, Team London has launched a free app which matches volunteers with local speed volunteering opportunities, making it possible for busy people to commit a small amount of time to suit their schedules.  

The Mayor today met GoodGym speed volunteers, a team of runners who keep fit at the same time as doing good in the community. GoodGym receives funding through Team London and the Mayor joined them at The Passage homeless charity in Victoria to help clear away Christmas decorations, help and lend a hand in the centre's kitchens. 

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The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “As we start our year as the top city in Europe for volunteering, I urge Londoners to make it their New Year’s Resolution to join our volunteering revolution. Team London has created an incredible volunteering legacy for the capital, and through this new, free app, it is now easier than ever to use a little of your spare time to make the city an even better place to live in.”

 GoodGym is just one of over 80,000 volunteering opportunities available in London, with activities that include befriending older Londoners, planting trees and working with young people. Some of the many varied opportunities currently offered via Team London’s website include creating social media content for education charity WORLDwrite, maintaining ponds and wildlife areas at Sutton Community Farm and teaching people to read and write at homeless charity Providence Row. 

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Partnership Manager at GoodGym, Ed Field said: “Funding from Team London has allowed us to massively expand what we do. We've been able to offer more GoodGym sessions to more people than ever before, bringing hundreds of new Londoners into volunteering all across the capital. London has such a rich community of voluntary organisations doing great things for the city and so we are always looking for new runners to meet their demand. You don't need to be an experienced runner or commit long term, just turn up, give a helping hand and get fit at the same time. Why not join us?”
 
As well as Team London funding for GoodGym, the Mayor is also providing funding for The Passage, London’s largest voluntary sector resource centre for homeless and vulnerable people. The charity, which helps up to 200 men and women every day, has received £381,780 through the Mayor’s Homelessness Change and Platform for Life programme. 

Mick Clarke, CEO of The Passage, said: “The Passage welcomes the Mayor’s leadership in encouraging more people to get involved in volunteering within their local communities. The Passage has a 4:1 volunteer to staff ratio and we simply could not deliver our diverse services, which enable so many people to end their homelessness for good and get back into employment and society, without the support of hundreds of volunteers, including those from the GoodGym initiative.”

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London was named the best city in Europe for volunteering 2016 at a ceremony last month, beating off competition from 10 other rival cities. The city scooped the title of European Volunteering Capital 2016 in recognition of the innovative programmes the Mayor has developed as a legacy of London 2012, when volunteering took centre stage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Since then, Team London has mobilised over 120,000 active volunteers including 60,000 school children and young people. 

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Download the App today to get involved or search ‘Team London’ in the Apple App Store (currently only available for IOS).

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