Eurovision volunteers can’t wait for “once in a lifetime experience”
Excitement is building among Liverpool City Council’s EuroVols as they meet for the first time to find out about all things Eurovision.
With demand for the 500 roles exceeding supply by over five times, the successful applicants gathered at the weekend to take part in their training and are looking forward to picking their uniforms up later this month and hitting the streets from May.
Volunteer Programme Manager Mathilde Bellec said:
“There was a real buzz in the air at the training as it was the first time our volunteers had a chance to meet each other and share stories about why they were volunteering and what they hope to get out of it. The enthusiasm they displayed was heart-warming and made all the work behind the scenes worth it.
“The volunteering programme gives people the chance to be at the heart of this iconic event, contributing to making history in Liverpool and representing the city’s long culture of welcoming the world with open arms.
“Volunteering is an opportunity to meet new people, gain skills and make great memories. It is a rewarding experience to feel part of a team and to have contributed to an event that will be talked about for decades.
“We have put together a diverse and inclusive volunteering team, with a blend of local volunteers and volunteers with knowledge of the Ukrainian language and culture.”
Kateryna Miasoid, a 24-year-old teaching graduate from Ukraine who is currently living in Liverpool, said:
“I volunteered because I wanted to support the city that accepted the responsibility of hosting Eurovision on behalf of my country. Leaving Ukraine was really frightening but the people of Liverpool have been so friendly and welcoming, I wanted to give something back.
“Liverpool is the perfect city to host Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine because everybody is so open-minded and they genuinely want to learn about my country.
“I am really grateful for the opportunity to volunteer. It is a once in a lifetime experience and a great source of learning with the power to not only help others but also myself. I am looking forward to making some great memories.”
Lynn Riley, Revenues and Benefits Manager for Liverpool City Council, first got the volunteering bug when she was just nine years old after she started helping out at a pensioners’ lunch club. Since then, she has gone on to become a regular volunteer for the Armed Forces charity, the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). She has also volunteered for global events including the London 2012 Paralympics and the Netball World Championships and Gymnastics World Championships in Liverpool.
“I want to help the city put on a great event for Ukraine, so the visitors have a really good experience and come back again. In Liverpool, we love music, we love people and we put on brilliant events. We can put on a spectacle like nobody else. I’m looking forward to putting into practice what I learnt in the training, meeting people from all over the world and seeing people enjoying themselves. It’s going to be bonkers but amazing. I can’t wait for it to start.
“Volunteering is mutually beneficial for the organisation and volunteers. It can have a huge impact on the life outcomes and future careers for both the volunteer and the people the volunteer is helping. Knowing I’ve supported a really good cause gives me an enormous sense of wellbeing. I don’t think you can beat that feeling of helping people.
“All of us rely on volunteers, whether we’ve got kids who go to Brownies or Scouts or we got to festivals or sporting events, there’s a huge community of volunteers across the country who provide support. I hope the interest in Eurovision and the visibility of the volunteers will encourage more people to get involved and support organisations who need help.”
Ian Atkinson, who works as a Visitor Assistant for National Museums Liverpool, added:
“When I heard there was an opportunity to volunteer during Eurovision, I jumped at the chance. I was so excited when I found out I was going to be a welcome host. I meet and greet people every day in my job at World Museum and I love what I do so I can’t wait to get started and welcome visitors from all over the world to my beautiful city and give them an amazing experience.
“I’m a lifelong Eurovision fan so witnessing my home city hosting the contest and being part of that is a once in a lifetime experience. It’s like Anfield hosting the Champions League final.”
Following in-person training around health and safety and security, briefings about the programme of events and a guided walk around the waterfront, volunteers will also receive online accessibility training delivered by Inclusive Employers and first aid training delivered by Community Safe a Life Scheme.
There will even be a chance for volunteers to meet Eurovision 1981 winner Cheryl Baker from Bucks Fizz in an online Q&A session.
Volunteers will be located around the city centre and at key transport hubs, placed along the route visitors will take from Lime Street to the Pier Head, including Liverpool One. They will be the welcoming faces meeting and greeting visitors to Liverpool.
The volunteers will receive their uniforms, which have been designed by LiverPrint in partnership with Ukrainian graphic designer Olena Danylchenko, at the end of the month.