Olympics inspires new volunteering programme

A nationwide volunteering campaign called The 25th Hour has just been launched. The campaign aims to use the inspirational power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to motivate people to give time in their communities. As a reward for giving up their time, thousands of people will get an exclusive preview of the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

The campaign, which has received the London 2012 Inspire Mark, will build over the next 28 months to create a lasting legacy that will touch all parts of the UK. It was launched at the Olympic Park in East London by Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell, LOCOG Chair Seb Coe and Terry Ryall, Chief Executive of V, the National Young Volunteers' Service.

The 25th Hour is based on the idea that we can all find an extra hour in our day to make a difference. It will tap into the existing enthusiasm among individuals to dedicate time to the places where they live and work.

The campaign will celebrate the outstanding contributions of exceptional time givers with a range of London 2012-themed awards, including 2,012 pairs of tickets to the dress rehearsal for the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

25th Hour supporters will be able to pledge their time via the campaign website www.the25thhour.org From June, the site will also provide details of local shcemes and activities which would benefit from people's time.

To find out more, visit www.the25thhour.org