This year, Catholic charity KISS has teamed up with the Rotary Club of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Cleanevent to take part in an innovative volunteering project at the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. 129 enthusiastic young people, are undertake housekeeping duties at the Athlete’s Village in July - but rather than receiving any remuneration themselves - the money they earn will be go directly to KISS. The volunteers will be working up close and personal with some of the world’s greatest athletes - cleaning their rooms, making their beds and ensuring their stay in the village is as comfortable as possible.
Between them, these volunteers have signed up to work an astonishing total of 5,537 hours. At a rate of £8.30 per hour, KISS stands to earn £45,957.10 from this project.
Trustee Kate Batterbury said: "We are enormously proud of the young people who have offered their time to KISS this summer. Thanks to their enthusiasm for the project, KISS has become the single biggest contributor of volunteers to the workforce.
"The majority of our volunteers are university students. A large number are former students of the John Henry Newman School in Stevenage, who developed a close personal connection to KISS during their time at the school. A number of the volunteers have visited KISS in Uganda themselves and are undertaking the work this summer to help change the lives of the children who they met there.
“It is inspiring to witness such a large group of young people freely giving of their time to raise money for KISS. They could be doing any number of things with their summer holidays, but they’ve chosen to do this. I think that speaks volumes about the deep goodness of so many of our young people - something you just don’t hear enough about.”
Volunteer Frankie Kirkpatrick said: “Everything here is great! The food is really nice and so are the people - what an amazing experience!”
“I wanted to do this because I wanted to get involved in the games and thought it would be great to be able to help KISS while doing it. I’m looking forward to seeing some of the world’s greatest athletes around the village,” said another volunteer, John Davies.
Alan Ryan, KISS Trustee, said: “The money that these young people are going to raise is life changing for so many young lives in Uganda. I’m blown away by the generosity of our young people.”
The volunteers are paying for their own transport to the games, but KISS has pledged to fund the volunteers’ accommodation and meals throughout their volunteering period.
Volunteers are being housed and fed in purpose built accommodation which will cost £18 per person per night (this cost includes three meals per day). The current cost to KISS will be £15,390. This money will be deducted from the £45,957.10 which KISS stands to earn from the project.
Alan said: "It is our wish to ensure that every penny our volunteers earn goes towards the projects in Uganda which they care so passionately about. It is for this reason that KISS is seeking sponsorship to cover the £15,390 cost of the volunteers’ food and accommodation."
If you are able to contribute, please visit www.justgiving.com/KISS-Olympics
KISS is a Catholic founded, UK Registered charity working to enable vulnerable children in Uganda to access and remain in education. To find out more about our work visit www.kiddiessupportscheme.org