A research proposal - Part 2 - Community Essay Example
A research proposal
‘’An analysis of the role of community strategies in shaping volunteering activities of young Black-African community in preparation for the Olympics 2012 in London Borough of Newham’’
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Olympic Games have been held in different cities in the world, with the games having significant impact on the host cities. Ackroyd (Ackroyd, 2001) confirms that London is one of the cities that have in the past hosted the games events. In addition, London will be hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. The need to enable the local communities get the benefits of their city hosting the 2012 Olympic Games has had the UK government focus on implementing a sustainable legacy through which these communities can benefit. Preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games have encouraged the participation of the local communities around the Olympic boroughs. Newham is one of the Olympic boroughs. The borough is one the most economically deprived areas in the UK. However, Newham has one of the most diverse and young population where a large minority group is made up of Black Africans. Preparations that are being made in Newham aim at having the young people engaged, Black-Africans included. One of the ways through which this can be done is through volunteering. Volunteering refers to the rendering of a service by an individual willingly without receiving any compensation for doing so. However, volunteering directly or indirectly benefits the volunteer and those who receive the rendered service. When it comes to the preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, volunteering will involve the rendering of services willingly by individuals or a community. The services rendered will support all the activities and efforts of preparation for the Games. Those who volunteer will not receive immediate compensation for their services, but they will later benefit from the services that they render.
The city of London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games due to its diversity, and this makes it essential for the London Black Minority and Ethnic communities to play an important role in the preparation for the Olympics. The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities are targeted as key beneficiaries of the Olympic Games. There is need for the Olympic Games to benefit the Londoners, especially those who reside in the East end of London. This makes it vital for all communities to be aware of the opportunities that are there for them to participate in preparations and development of the games. A London Annual Business Survey (London Annual Business Survey 2006; London Development Agency) indicated that London still remains one of the most diverse and rich city in the world, and has a total business turnover that has been estimated to be £600 billion . In addition, London has been ranked as the worlds’ fourth largest city. About 244,000 people who live in London are unemployed. The BME population in London is about 30.7 per cent, with about 24 most diverse local authorities out of the total 28 in UK being in London. In Waltham Forest, Greenwich, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Newham, the BME population stands at 42 per cent. In the London bid for the Olympics, how each borough would benefit from the games was discussed. The Olympic Games are expected to create a lasting legacy for the communities in the five boroughs by assisting the disadvantaged communities. A business report by the London Councils (Business and Industry Facts. London Councils) showed that these communities suffer from huge economic and social disadvantage.
One of the lessons that was learned from the previous sport events in Britain is that, community members should always be involved in any major regeneration programme within the community. For instance, a study conducted on the Commonwealth Games of 2002 that were held in Manchester indicated that the legacy programme of the event failed to engage the community in the games. An evaluation of the legacy programme (An Evaluation of the Commonwealth Games Legacy Programme, 2003) found out that the community members did not have a sense of ownership of the games. This resulted from the programmes’ failure to ensure that the community was represented during the development of the Commonwealth Games. The low participation of community organizations in the Sporting Legacy Programme during the Commonwealth Games resulted from the voluntary and community groups’ lack of capacity to engage in the games development, and also the failure of those coordinating the programme to consult and engage the community. Adam (Adam, 2007) in a new start Magazine article supports these views. One of the ways through which communities can be involved in the games is by volunteering. Local governments in the past have participated in the development and implementation of strategies that encourage community involvement in preparation for Olympic Games in various host cities.Elcock (Elcock, 1994) states that, while some local governments have been successful, others have not been successful. An example of Olympic Games where there was very little cooperation and consultation between the local community and the authority is the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996. The Atlanta Olympics also led to several social problems whereby the gap between the Black and the White, inner city and sub-urban, rich and poor, immigrants and the non-immigrant residents widened. Some host cities that have won the bid to host the Olympic Games have been accused of being willing to suppress the rights of the citizens. To minimize or to eliminate social problems that may result from a city hosting the Olympic Games, there is need to include the ethnic minority groups in the society to participate in the preparation for the games. In addition, the young people should be encouraged to be involved. Misener et al (Misener et al, 2006) holds the opinion that this will ensure that the local communities benefit economically while the social problems are avoided. Young people need to be encouraged to discover their potential and to contribute to the community through policies. The policies should reduce the risk of having the Black and the Minority Ethnic (BME) communities socially excluded from preparations for the games and benefiting from the Games.
According to the Trade Union Congress (Trade Union Congress. April 2008), the unemployment rate of the BME people in the UK has remained high over the years. While the BME unemployment rate in 1997 was 17.9 per cent, the rate in the first quarter of 2007 was recorded to be 14.2 per cent. Newham like all the some other boroughs in London is one of Britain’s’ most deprived areas. About 27.2 per cent of all households in the host boroughs are workless, as compared to about 19.9 per cent across London. Newham employment level is at 55 per cent, which is much lower that the 65 per cent in other boroughs and 69.9 per cent across London. In the host boroughs, 20 per cent of residents have no qualifications, while those with skills up to NVQ+levels stand at 36 per cent.
Research has shown that the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities have in the past failed to be involved in Olympic Games’ preparations. Although huge investment has been made in the regeneration programmes in relation to the disadvantaged groups, the BME communities still remain uninvolved fully. According to the Home Office (Home Office, 2006), there is need to have young people engaged in the games through volunteering. This is very instrumental in promoting positive experience for the young people, and this in turn leads to community cohesion in future. In England, volunteering and charitable giving is very important. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London are expected to be one of the best ever in history. London is home to over 200 communities who speak over 300 languages. With the richness and diversity of communities in UK, the Olympic Games are expected to display and celebrate this diversity. The current governments’ thinking and policies focus on volunteering. For instance, the Cabinet Office 2004 Spending Review Public Service Agreement 4(PSA 4) aimed at increasing community engagement and voluntary work especially amongst the communities that are at the risk of social exclusion. Those that were seen as being at the risk of social exclusion included the individuals belonging to the Black Minority and Ethnic (BME) groups, those with long term illnesses (LLI), or those with disability.
When it comes to the young people, great expectations are placed on them in relation to the issue of volunteering due to the benefits that volunteering brings to the community. These benefits include; increased skills and employability, reduced crime and anti-social behavior, enhanced community or social cohesion, as well as the integration of young people who are on the margins in the society. In the UK, young Black-African community is being encouraged to participate in the preparation for Olympics 2012 in London. According to the 2006 estimates (Population and Diversity Facts. London Councils), the London’s borough of Newham is ethnically diverse with about 38 per cent of the population being Asians, 39 per cent White and 22 per cent Black. One of the ways through which the young Black-African community is being encouraged to participate in the 2012 Olympic Games preparation is through volunteering. In Newham, community strategies have an important role in shaping the young peoples’ volunteering activities.
In Newham, community strategies have been developed to encourage the young Black-African community to volunteer. These strategies are based on the Volunteer Strategy Draft of 25th May 2005. One of the ways through which the community strategies are shaping the volunteering activities of the young African community is by creating a strong, trained and diverse volunteer work force. Since the Black-African community is part of the Newham local community, the young Black-Africans are being encouraged to join this work force in order to increase the diversity of the volunteer work force. The community strategies that are being developed and implemented in Newham aim at supporting the Vision of London 2012. According to the Vision of London 2012, a volunteer work force made up of over 70,000 needs to be put into place in order to ensure that the Olympics Games and Paralympic Games in London will be the best ever. Community strategies in Newham have encouraged the formation of volunteer groups, through which many young Black Africans are being urged to be involved in the Olympic Games preparations. For instance, the Newham Volunteers has over 500 individuals who are currently being involved in volunteering. The Black-Africans have been underrepresented in volunteer work, an issue that has made them to be considered as being at the risk of social exclusion. However, the number of Black-Africans engaged in volunteer work has been increasing.
Community strategies that have been put into place in Newham to prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games have promoted the working together of traditional voluntary sectors and the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympics Games (LOCOG). The working together is shaping the volunteering culture in the Black-African community. In the UK, volunteering is a strong culture which is acknowledged due its benefits to the community. Through the collaboration between the LOCOG and the existing voluntary and community organizations, complementary programmes that can encourage young Black-Africans to volunteer are being developed. Community strategies are expected to be very beneficial to the 2012 Olympic Games, just like they have been for other Olympic Games in the past. Volunteering in young people increases the success of events such as the Olympic Games. For instance, the Australian Bureau of Statistics Report (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001) estimated that 32 per cent of the Australian population of individuals aged 18 years and above volunteered in the preparation for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000.Kovacs et al (Kovacs and Black, 1999) states that the community strategies used during the Sydney Olympics encouraged organizations to recruit people who would volunteer for a long time This was very advantageous in cutting down the cost of recruiting and training volunteers during the games.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is a non-departmental public body that on behalf of the UK government has been put into place to oversee the delivery of new avenues, Olympic Park and infrastructure in preparation for the games. According to Mcnulty( Mcnulty, 2007),the ODA was set up and given a legal duty to ensure that there is race equality based on the Race Relations Amendment Act 2000.The authority public functions include; promoting equality of opportunity to eliminate unlawful racial discrimination as well as to promote good racial relations between individuals from different racial backgrounds. The ODA Race Equality Scheme (RES) which was published in March 2007 is an action plan that aims at improving the race outcomes. Community strategies that are based on the functions of the ODA have shaped the volunteering activities of young Black-African community in preparation for Olympic Games. Community strategies in Newham that support the Race Equality Scheme have aimed at bringing about a successful and positive experience for BME communities with the Games. Newham and other boroughs are expected to work together with the ODA to create and build a network system that is inclusive for all cultures, ages, races, faiths, and those with disabilities. Ensuring that facilities are enjoyed by people of all races, including those from the BME communities is a good way through which the young Black-African communities can be attracted to make their contribution towards the Olympic Games preparation activities. Community strategies that will encourage the young Black-African communities and the disabled people to apply for jobs that they are underrepresented in such as construction are likely to shape the volunteer activities of the young black-African community. For example, by ensuring that a fair proportion of BME people are employed to build Olympic transport system and infrastructure, young Black-African community will be motivated to volunteer in other activities of preparation.
According to the RES (Race Equality Scheme; Olympic Delivery Authority; March 2007), the RES strategy aims at ensuring that businesses owned by BME communities will receive fair, open and transparent treatment in the procurement of services during the preparations. The fair awarding and tendering process as well as the inclusion of BME within the supply chain in preparation efforts is expected to encourage the Black-African community to volunteer since the community will have a sense of ownership for the games. Barlow (Barlow, 1991) supports involving people in city development as a way of encouraging social cohesion and building a sense of ownership in the community members. The development of community strategies where people from BME will be involved in the designing and construction of Olympic venues may be important in shaping the community’s volunteering.
Promoting a monitoring system where contracts are given equally to people from all ethnic groups and gender need to be supported by community strategies. When young Black-African community in Newham and other boroughs appreciate the equal business opportunities offered to them, they would be willing to volunteer in Olympic Games preparation efforts. Supporting initiatives such as the Employer Accord and the Personal Best Programme will enable the community strategies to assist the unemployed BME people and those seeking volunteering opportunities to secure jobs or to volunteer. Equality monitoring during the preparations will need to be adhered to, and also to be measured on a regular basis if the games are to impact positively upon the BME community in Newham. The voluntary and community groups in Newham will be required to deliver work related ESOL to the people so as to urge them to participate in the preparations. When it comes to ethnic monitoring, prime contractors may fail to comply. To solve this, penalizing the contractors may be necessary.
Community organizations may be required to work together with the ODA to make sure that the procurement processes reach the BME communities that experience high unemployment levels. This may result to a high number of Black-African volunteers since they will view participating in the games as being beneficial to them. The London Employment and Skills Taskforce (LEST) aim at linking, working, and training people through volunteering. This supports the Black-African community members who are willing to volunteer. Involving the five boroughs’ community members to draw up a communication and engagement strategy is considered an effective way of engaging members of the BME in the games. The skilled and unskilled individuals from the BME communities can be trained and find work under BOOST, a body that works with contractors on the Olympic site. This initiative is likely to attract Black-African community members who will be trained to engage in voluntary work. The Personal Best Programme aims at engaging over 20,000 people from disadvantaged communities living in London in preparation efforts. Newhams’ Black-African community members are expected to benefit by having their job opportunities increased when they volunteer through the programme.A London Development Agency Update Report( Employment and Skills Update 2012; London Development Agency; January 2008) has proved the agency’s commitment in assisting the disadvantaged. For example, the Opportunities Fund run by the London Development Agency gives grants to the excluded and disadvantaged communities .This can motivate young Black-Africans to be engaged in the games.
Community strategies are crucial for the games, since they enable the volunteers to become more committed to the efforts that are made in preparation for the games. For instance, community strategies during the Sydney Olympics of 2000 in Australia were very important in retaining volunteers. The community strategies in Australia encouraged organizations to understand the individual volunteers’ motives. According to Clary et al (Clary, Snyder and Ridge, 1992), organizations are able to match the volunteers with the appropriate tasks if an individuals’ motivation is identified. Community strategies increase the success of the Olympic Games events by increasing the volunteers’ satisfaction. The strategies do this by encouraging ‘motivationally relevant feedback’ to the volunteers about their performance, views that are also supported by Schondel et al (Schondel, 2000).
The strategies that have in the past been implemented in preparation for Olympic Games have promoted the development and implementation of polices that close the gap between the young peoples’ different achievements. For example, young people who have different achievements are brought together when they participate in volunteer work. When this happens, the young people are able to discover their full potential. The young black community in Newham will volunteer when the gap between their achievements and those of other groups of youth is closed to allow exploitation of their potential. According to an article by the National Youth Agency (National Youth Agency, 2001), this equips them appropriately to contribute to the community and the country. Olympic Games preparations in the past have benefited from this because the young people become committed and dedicated to all the preparation undertakings. Consequently, the great commitment increases the success of all efforts and activities that aim at making Olympics a success. Community strategies are important for the Games because they build a very strong culture of volunteering. When local governments work together with the community organizations, the local people are likely to get involved. Community involvement increases the success of Olympic Games since problems that may arise from lack of community involvement are eliminated. For example, the Atlanta Olympic Games experienced some social problems when the gap between the rich and the poor was widened. By building a strong culture of volunteering, the community members are able to have a positive experience in the games. The community cohesion that results from the community involvement, especially the involvement of the BME leads to the success of the Olympic Games.
When an announcement was made in 1990 that Atlanta had won a bid to host the 1998 Olympic games, plans to ensure that Atlanta would become a shining star among the cities considered as of elite class were put into full gear. Community development was one of the key issues that were seen as very vital in the preparations for the Olympic Games. Community strategies in relation to volunteering were put into place. The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) worked together with the community partners to ensure that the games were a success. The community organizations and partners had their roles well defined, with each group expected to meet its responsibility for the games to become a success. Community strategies in preparation for the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games promoted the residential rehabilitation and development projects. The projects in turn led to the present day in-town housing boom. Volunteering led to the flourishing of partnerships such as the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. The partnership brought together community volunteer groups, corporations, and foundations. By working together with the corporations and the foundations, the community groups’ volunteers led to the construction and rehabilitation of more than 1300 affordable housing units in the neighborhoods that surrounded the Olympic venues.
Community strategies that promote volunteering should be based on the principles of equality of opportunity as well as non-discrimination, an opinion also expressed by Rocker et al (Roker et al, 2002). The Black and Minority Ethnic groups that are considered at the risk of social exclusion when it comes to the preparations of events such as the 2012 Olympic Games should be given equality of opportunity during the preparations for the games. Community strategies that have been and will be put into place in Newham as preparations for the Olympic Games are made will be required to engage and empower volunteers in the area, especially those from BME communities. Through effective community strategies, the Games volunteer programmes are expected to provide enhanced opportunities for the young people who will be volunteering. The young Black-African community will be provided with opportunities to be engaged in the volunteer programs. The Volunteer Strategy-Draft of 25th may 2005 encourages the participation of young Black Africans in preparation for the Olympic Games, through the Vision of London 2012. The Vision of London 2012 intends to create volunteer programmes that will ensure that the volunteer work force is strong and that it reflects on the richness and diversity of communities in UK. In order to ensure that the volunteer work force integrates the diverse communities in UK, the young Black Africans in Newham are being urged to join the volunteer work force so that it becomes possible to have the Olympic and Paralympics games in London in 2012 succeed.
The Olympic and Paralympics volunteer programmes require great support from the traditional voluntary and community sectors in sourcing for volunteers and in equipping the young people to become volunteers. The young Black Africans community in Newham is one of the groups that are being targeted for the recruitment of volunteers to become volunteers. By joining volunteer programmes, the young Black Africans will get an opportunity to fully maximize their potential. In addition, they will be able to have a positive experience with the Olympic Games events. In Newham, there are Black and Minority Ethnic voluntary groups that provide community care services. A good example is the BEMCCF (Black and Ethnic Minority Community Care Forum).According to an online source about the BEMCCF (Black and Ethnic Minority Community Care Forum, 2008); the forum has been very instrumental in cultivating voluntary culture amongst the young Black Africans in Newham. The forum assists the Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary Groups to grow and develop their ability to render services. By bringing together its member groups for a strong and collective voice, the forum is able to promote community strategies that encourage the young Black Africans in Newham to participate in volunteer work. The young Black Africans therefore become ready to volunteer, a situation that is expected to increase the participation of the young Black Africans in preparations for 2012 London Olympic games. The forum works together with the local authority and voluntary sector partners in order to support the development of services which aim at responding to the local needs. The Olympic Games in London are required to address the local peoples’ needs, an opinion supported by a BME Policy Matters article (BME Policy Matters. Winning Gold for Inclusion Final Briefing). According to Dilys (Dilys, 2000), this makes it crucial for such an event to benefit the community living in the urban or host area. Because the games will be improving the wellbeing of the local people, the Black African community included, the forum is expected to encourage the participation of its members in volunteer programmes that are being developed to prepare for the games. The BTEG ,which is a networking organization whose aim is to support third sector organizations in UK promotes community strategies that increase employment rates for BME people in Newham and other boroughs. In addition, its role is to ensure that the BME communities contribute to the communities’ economic regeneration. By assisting in raising the attainment levels of students from BME communities in education to the national average, community strategies that are based on the objectives of the BTEG will empower young people from the Black-African community to exploit their potential by volunteering where necessary. This is because; the young people will acquire knowledge and skills that enable them to volunteer effectively.
The Black and Minority Ethnic groups’ population has been increasing in UK, Newham being one of the regions hosting the increased number of the individuals. This means that the number of Black African students who are enrolled in secondary schools is high. In the UK, the educational achievement of secondary school students has been a matter of concern. For instance, quantitative analysis of schools in Newham has been carried out with the aim of identifying what adds value to the educational achievement of the students. Some of the secondary schools in Newham that have enrolled a good number of young Black Africans include; Forest Gate, Eastlea and St. Bonaventure. In London’s Borough of Newham, volunteering affects the young Black African community in secondary education. The Local Education Authority (LEA) has a responsibility to ensure that students have their educational needs catered for. Newhams’ LEA has been committed to the school improvement. The Newham LEA has proved to serve a highly mobile, growing and ethnically diverse population. The young Black African community in the secondary schools in Newham faces various problems. The Black African students are socially disadvantaged and they experience a high incidence of health problems. Furthermore, there is a high unemployment in Newham, while the number of dependant children increasing sharply. For sometime, the performance of secondary students in Newham has been below the national average at the key stages. This has resulted to great commitment by the government and Newhams’ LEA to add value to the schools in order to improve the performance of the students. This has reduced significantly the number of secondary schools that have serious weaknesses or require special measures.
The Local Education Authority in Newham is working very hard to resolve difficulties that secondary school students face. The Black African community in the secondary schools is expected to benefit greatly from the efforts made by LEA to add value to the schools in efforts to improve student performance and to look for new ways of resolving difficulties experienced by the schools. One way through which LEA is trying to solve the problems is by encouraging and accepting great pride in the ethnic diversity of the Newham borough. The Black African community in secondary schools is expected to benefit from LEA’s determination to have the educational opportunity improved in schools. The Newham Local Education Authority elected members and officers have shown great commitment to the enhancement of social inclusion in schools. The social inclusion promotes community strategies where individuals from different races work together. The social cohesion in turn encourages working together of community members in volunteer organizations. The Newham Local Education Authority (Inspection report: Newham Local Education Authority, Jan 2003) states that volunteering impacts positively on the young Black African community in secondary education.
According to Goldthorpe et al (Goldthorpe et al, 1968), many young communities are involved in voluntary work. In the UK, high school students are encouraged to be engaged in voluntary work. Considered as being at the risk of social exclusion, Black African high school students in Newham have been urged to participate in volunteer work. The voluntary and community engagement amongst Black African high school students is supported by the Cabinet office 2004 Spending Review Public Service Agreement 4 (PSA 4) as indicated in the Institute of Research Volunteering Bulletin( Institute for Volunteering Research, 2007).
Some community volunteer schemes in Newham have been encouraging secondary school students to participate in volunteer work in preparation for the Games. This has included the Black African community in secondary schools. For example, the Newham volunteer scheme has been designed to assist young people to be involved in the Games. The scheme which provides reliable volunteering service for local events in Newham is expected to involve young Black Africans in preparations for the London Olympic Games in 2012. The scheme aims at recruiting about 70,000 volunteer participants for the Olympic Games preparations. Apart from volunteering in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic, young Black African community is involved in voluntary efforts and activities that aim at providing good health care to the community members. Newham community experiences a high incidence of health problems and this has led to the formation of organizations to try and solve the health problems. These organizations have involved the young Black African community in their activities as volunteers. In addition, the Black minority Ethnic groups’ members have been found to work as volunteers in religious organizations. Young Black Africans have shown a commitment in volunteer work by being involved in disaster relief volunteering, as well as the overseas aid. This is seen as the Black Africans commitment to the countries where they come from. Some young Black Africans are engaged in volunteering in the conservation field.
As result of volunteering, the Black African community benefits in various ways. Due to the problems that the Black African community experiences, being engaged in voluntary work is very beneficial to the volunteers and to those receiving the volunteers’ services. Some of the benefits that the Black African community would be expected to enjoy as a result of volunteering is the solving of social problems. One of the social problems that the Newham Black African community faces is the social exclusion where the gap between the rich and the poor deepens. The coming together of young people from different racial and social backgrounds would be instrumental in bridging the gap between people of different racial, social, and economic backgrounds. Through voluntary work, young Black African community can be integrated into the larger community.
Young Black African communities are able to discover fully their potential when policies that encourage voluntary work are developed and implemented in order to close the gap between the achievements of the young Black Africans and those who have made great achievements in life. By fully discovering their potential, the young people are placed in a better position to contribute better to the wider society. The social and community cohesion is built by volunteering, and this allows the young Black Africans to gain financially and socially in future.Cnaan et al (Cnnan et al, 1991) states that the young people in future are able to enjoy the benefits of the positive impacts of voluntary activities and efforts.
There are different strategies that are developed to enhance community participation in Olympic Games. The strategies depend on what needs to be achieved in the community. For instance, in Newham different community strategies have been developed and implemented to encourage the young Black African community to participate in the preparations for the Olympic Games. Community strategies that are developed to enhance community participation are based on the priorities of the community and how the needs of the community can be met. The strategies in most cases aim at improving the quality of life of the community members in areas surrounding the host city of the Games. During the development and implementation of the community strategies, certain factors need to be put into consideration in order to ensure that the strategies make the community a better place to live in during and after the Olympic Games. In addition, community strategies are developed while putting into mind global issues such as climate change. There is need for the strategies to address these issues locally so that they succeed in making a positive change in the community. Local authorities are expected by the central government to work together with the community organizations to develop community strategies that address the needs of the people in the area.
Before different community strategies that enhance community participation in Olympic Games are developed, the key issues in a local area need to be identified with the help of the local people. According to Gursoy et al(Gursoy et al, 2005),the views of the local groups and residents on what the community strategies should focus on to improve the area in future should be considered. For example, the strategies should advocate for safety in the area from anti-social behaviour. This makes the local peoples’ views about community strategies very instrumental in shaping the priorities of the community strategies. Different community strategies that are used to enhance community participation in the games depend on what the strategies aim to achieve for the community. In preparation for the games, strategies advocate for the community members to volunteer .For instance, due to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a Volunteer Strategy Draft has been developed to encourage the community members in areas such as Newham to take part in the preparations for the games. All community members are expected to be involved, including the Black Minority and Ethnic groups. The aim of the Vision of London 2012 is to create a volunteer work force which is trained, strong and diverse. Newham is one of the most ethnically diverse areas in UK, and this makes it possible for the community members to form an ethnically diverse volunteer work force. Furthermore, community strategies that promote voluntary work in the Games provide all the community members with an equal opportunity to participate, irrespective of the racial and social background of a community member.
Another category of community strategies that enhance community involvement in the games address the economic problems that are experienced in an area. Areas that surround the Olympic Games host cities may have a strong economic base. Other areas may not be doing well economically. For example, the Black Minority and Ethnic groups in Newham experience some economic hardships, especially due to the high unemployment rate. Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games demands for good housing facilities, improved infrastructure, business parks, and shopping centres.As indicated by Backman et al (Backman et al, 1997), community strategies become very crucial in promoting direct and indirect employment of the community members in the different sectors of development. In addition, the strategies encourage the improvement of social amenities and infrastructure in the areas surrounding the host cities. This no doubt benefits the community economically by attracting new investments and offering employment opportunities for the people. Some community strategies advocate for sustainable utilization of the natural resources and a clean environment as a way of encouraging community participation. A clean environment in the host city and the surrounding areas makes the place safe for those participating in the Olympic Games. To encourage the community members to keep the environment clean, community strategies that promote conservation and clean environment can be very useful in promoting community participation in clean up activities and efforts.
Some community strategies that enhance community participation in the games aim at promoting good health of the people. The health status of a population in an area is important when it comes to the preparation for the games. For instance, the Newham area has had a high incidence of diseases. This is especially true in the Black Minority and Ethnic groups’ communities. Community strategies can be developed to address the health problems of the community members so that having a healthy community becomes an effective way of preparing for the games. The strategies also aim at improving areas of deprivation that surround the host city. Though some areas of Newham borough may be prosperous, some areas suffer from deprivation. These areas are in most cases home to the Black and Minority Ethnic communities. According to Cherry (Cherry, 2005), those who live in the deprived areas tend to have a low life expectancy than those in prosperous areas. Furthermore, individuals from the deprived areas experience a high level of unemployment.Reddaway (Reddaway, 1940) assert that the people from these areas will have a low standard of living. In order to improve their living standards and to make them have a positive experience with the games, community strategies that enhance community participation or involvement in games should address problems that are experienced in areas of deprivation. Deci at al (Deci et al, 1985) states that a positive experience acts as motivation, hence the people are likely to volunteer.
The community strategies that are developed to encourage the participation of the community in the games engage almost all the members of a community irrespective of their age, social, or economic background. This is because; the strategies are developed in a manner that allows all the community members to make their contribution. However, in terms of age, most community strategies attract a high number of the young people .There is need for young people to be engaged in decision making, an opinion that is also supported by Cutler et al(Cutler et al, 2001). For example, community strategies that promote volunteering encourage the young people to be involved in the games. The London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is expected to develop the London Olympic and Paralympic Volunteers. This program is meant to equip the young people to become volunteers. The 2005 Russell Commission recommendations have supported investment in youth volunteering. In order to develop opportunities for youth volunteering in UK and to urge the young people to be engaged in voluntary activities, about 400 new staff is expected to be employed. The Volunteer Strategy in UK aims at ensuring that the young people including those from Black and Minority Ethnic communities become aware of the volunteering opportunities available to them in preparations for the games. The volunteer groups are expected to work together with schools and other young people in order to equip them to become first class volunteers for the 2012 Olympic Games. Apart from the young people, other older members of the community volunteer. Organizations and corporations encourage mature adults to take part in volunteer work as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The preparations for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games require that enough information is available to the people who need to participate. In the UK, one of the sources of information on how the community can participate in the games is the Volunteer Strategy Draft. This draft describes into details what needs to be done, by who, and how. The people through the draft are informed on how they can participate in the games. Information about volunteer groups and programs is available to the people on the internet to let them know more about participating in the games, and to encourage them to become engaged in volunteer work. Community organizations are very vital in promoting awareness about community participation in the games. By working together with the London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), the existing community and voluntary organizations should be able to inform people about participation, to develop volunteering programmes, and to add value to volunteering.
Olympic Games should be beneficial to the host city, areas surrounding the host city, and the host country. Within the local community, the benefits of engaging in the games may not be evenly distributed due to several factors. Some of the factors that affect how even the benefits are distributed in the local community depend on the facilities in the area, the infrastructure, and the availability of services based on the economy of an area.Sassen( Sassen, 2001) states that some areas of a city may be prosperous and others deprived. For instance, an area around the host city that has good housing facilities and infrastructure is likely to get more economic benefits from engaging in the games because a large number of activities will be more concentrated in the area, as compared to the deprived areas. Local communities that have a large number of people engaged in the games are expected to enjoy a high level of social or community cohesion. According to Schofield (Schofield, 2003), a community involvement in a city development is very vital in promoting future development of the area.As London’s borough of Newham prepare for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, there is need to have the young Black-African community in the area involved in voluntary work.
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