Volunteers from Northamptonshire gave up their time to be London 2012 Olympic Gamesmakers.
Melanie Ryding, a teacher from Wellingborough, said: “I chose to volunteer because I wanted to be able to say I was a part of a historic sporting event, the Olympic Games, something that will never come round again in my lifetime.
“My journey through the games involved very early mornings, late nights, standing up all day and getting repeatedly wet. I saw the dawn rise – more than once – experienced night busses and the first trains out of underground stations, but I wouldn’t change any of it. The purple and red London 2012 outfit seemed to unite London. People spoke to each other on the public transport systems and were not afraid to ask me a question, or simply say hello. On one of my last shifts, the crowds who were still amassed in Hyde Park spontaneously cheered us in as the gamesmakers walked back as a group from our marshalling positions. That was very special.”
Debbie Twigger, of Thrapston, who is also a teacher, said: “I was given a role as team leader within events services, which is the public face of the games. The experience has been absolutely fantastic. There was a brilliant atmosphere in London with happy spectators who were very complimentary and appreciative of all the volunteers and the roles they are playing. There was a real feeling of being part of a team. The Olympics has really brought the best out of not just the athletes but also everyone involved with them, including the spectators.”