Over the past few months I’ve been so excited about becoming a volunteer Games Maker for the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics I have let everything else slip. I’ve realised that I have actually done very little in that time as a coder and as the crowd funding to help with my expenses hasn’t been successful I need to get myself back into overdrive to get some coding done.
I am going to spend more time looking through the freelance sites for projects, I have a couple of bids on projects but need to get bidding on more.
I’m going to revamp CGI Scripts 4 U and the scripts I have available on there, bringing them all up to date, some have not been touched since I wrote them 10 years ago. I may also add some PHP scripts to the site.
I then need to develop more scripts and sited, I have a couple of domains that I have registered but not developed and these need to be worked on.
Finally I need to start selling the scripts again, the odd one here and there is not enough.
If you have any idea’s please let me know.
I am so keen and excited to be part of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics as a Games Maker but I am starting to wonder if it is actually going to happen.
I don’t mean the Games themselves, both the Olympics and Paralympic games are going to be great events, what I mean is will I be involved as a Games Maker?
I have to date traveled down to London twice for training and expect at least two more training sessions before the games start, in addition to that I will need a further two trips to London to collect Uniform and Accreditation, once for Olympics and once for the Paralympics. Each of these trips is costing about £50 ($80 USD), so a total of at least £300 ($480 USD) before the games have even started.
I am then scheduled to do 24 shifts, there are camp sites springing up which are great for those that are :
1. Based at or near the sporting venues
2. Working within a few days the Olympic games themselves
3. Have a tent, as they are not accepting vehicles on site.
I am based the other side of London, travel to and from my shifts would take about 1.5 hours each way, my shifts fall in the weeks before the games start, many of the Olympic camp sites are not open that far ahead, and I planned to use a camper van not a tent. The only tent we have is a 9 man tent and there is no way I will get that up and down on my own.
There are couple of regular camp sites in around London but they do not have great transport links to the airport where I am based.
Home Stay is another option and there are a couple near the airport, well within 45 minutes on public transport, but these are about £30 ($50 USD)/night which, although good for London, more than I can afford for 24 nights.
I have contacted a couple of companies and local Authorities asking if I could just park on their car park for the 5 days a week I will be volunteering, unfortunately I have only had two replies, one advising that they are changing hands at the end of the month and I should email again at a later date, and the 2nd advising I contact the local site manager rather than head office. NO other company/Authority has replied.
It was suggested to me by a friend in the USA that I should try Crowd Funding to try to raise funds to help with the costs involved in being a volunteer Games Maker for London 2012 which I have done here but I am struggling with it.
Please, if you know anyone in West London and close to the Piccadilly line who can either offer me a bed for a couple of weeks, or somewhere to park my Motorhome which I can stay in then please let me know or maybe you could help Sponsor a GamesMaker.
In my last post I mentioned a ‘Home Stay’ site that offered me 3 free nights accommodation in return for a mention on here, on my Gofundme page and within a Facebook group consisting of over 500 Games Makers who are all in need of accommodation during their time volunteering at the London 2012 Olympics.
I thought this was a great help but at appears that they are just another money grabbing organisation out to rip off volunteers during the games.
Let me explain.
I got my provisional dates that I would be required to volunteer during the games so I contacted Victoria Arnold, the owner of Home Stay Friend and told her I would like to book the dates with the host she had told me about, near where I am to be based and at a great price of £80/week.
She got back to me the next day saying this host is no longer available as they have a full time lodger. OK I thought so I browsed the site for alternatives. I found one, not ideally located but advertising a room for £120/week or £130/week during the Olympic game period. I thought my dates are before the games but even if charged the higher rate its not too drastic. I emailed the host about availability for July etc and she came back saying it would be £30/night, a 50% increase.
I emailed back giving my actual dates which are before the Games actually start and she replied that she knew the dates I wanted as Victoria Arnold had emailed them to her. I also got another email from Victoria that she had a spread sheet of properties she has in London and that she has advised them to charge about £30/night.
The property whom put their prices up has since updated her profile on Home Stay friends with the new price, but the property who has said they have a full time lodger and no longer looking to rent a room out is still advertising at £80/week, this is obviously to attract people to the site.
I accept these are peoples homes and they can charge what they like but I believe that here in the UK false advertising is illegal, if it’s not then it is definitely immoral.
So, I know many of my readers are from overseas, if you ever need accommodation when visiting London stay away from Home Stay Friends.
I am pleased to say that I have been offered three nights accommodation in someones house for free during my time working as an volunteer Gamesmaker for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
The offer came from Home stay friend a website that puts host families who have a room to let in touch with people looking for affordable accommodation.
I would like to thank Victoria for the offer, it is going to be a great help.
Yesterday saw my first Training session as a Games Maker for the London 2012 Olympics and Parlympics.
I left early and drove down to the edge of London and then got the tube into Wembley. I was early, arriving about 10:15am, fortunatly another Games Maker who I have befriended on Facebook posted she was sat in the corner of Maccy D’s and another was already hanging around the front of Wembley Arena not knowing where to go too kill time. So we both headed to Maccy D’s and had our first face to face meeting. Within about half an hour there was nearly a dozen of us stood around in the corner sipping Coffee.
At around midday we headed to Wembley arena to meet up with others who had said they would meet us there and some from the morning training session.
I must thank Melanie Chad for letting me use her pictures in this post, I didn’t take any as I am not great at taking pictures as well as fact my phone died.
Paula then asked every GamesMaker to sign her London2012 Flag, this is going to be a great souvenir for her.
As the morning session ended other Games Maker friends from Facebook joined us :
It was great to meet up with fellow Games makers at this point, informal and fun but it was now time for us to leave those that attended the morning session and enter the Arena. There was a long queue but we was in within about 20 minutes but then we still had about an hour before the session was going to start.
At first I thought it was strange that we had such a long wait but then in hindsight I think it was to encourage you to meet and communicate with others sat around you. If this is correct then it worked well, I was sat next to one lady who had travelled down from Liverpool, on the other side a lady from near Southend and then next to her a young man from Leeds area who is actually going to be based at same place as me although doing a different role. He is the first person I have spoken to who is based at the same place as me.
We are asked not to give details of the actual training session but I can say that comedian Eddie Izzard was there doing his bit.
A few of us then met up after the event to discuss whether or not to grab a drink but it started to snow so a couple of ladies and I decided to head off to the tube station and get going before the snow got heavy.
Unfortunately the snow had started north and move south, I was starting south and driving north. The drive was slow as the snow had come down so fast you couldn’t see the road surface on the M1 motorway and when you could it was down to one lane. There was a number of cars that had hit something abandoned on side of the motorway as well as cars just parked up on hard shoulder. Not sure why it was obvious the snow wasn’t going to stop any time soon.
I did get home eventually at about 21:30, which wasn’t too bad as only took me an hour longer than normally.
It was a good day all in all, met some great people and am buzzing with exitment and can’t wait for the London 2012 Olympic games to start. Please help me get there http://www.gofundme.com/c1rq0
Note : All photographs within this post are published with the permission of the photographer Melanie Chad and are not to be reproduced without her permission.
I have been trying to raise funds to help with the costs of Transport and Accommodation during my time as a Games Maker at the 2012 London Olympics. As well as trying to raise funds using Crowd Funding I have also been looking to see what other help there is out there. I have found the following which may be of interest to other Games Makers, unfortunately at time of writing none are applicable for me.
If you are a Games Maker for the London 2012 Olympics there is the expectation from the Games organisers that you commit to the following:
- ten days volunteering, over a potential three-week period;
- personally arrange and cover the cost of their journey to any applicable training and Games Time Venue; and
- personally arrange and cover the cost of their accommodation
If you are a Games Maker from Northern Ireland then you may claim for financial assistance from the NI Volunteers Bursary Scheme, if you are a British Civil Servant and a member of CSSC Sport and Leisure then you can claim 50% of your travel costs plus help of upto £20/night for accommodation for upto 10 nights.
If you live in Leicestershire then you may be able to claim up to £500 from Inspire Leicestershire.
I am still looking.
I do enjoy the challenge of moving servers but this has been done due to costs.
Once everything has been checked and double checked I will be back blogging
Please do check out my GoFundMe page.
A good friend of mine in the US has entered into a competition to win an 82 Inch 3D tv, please take a look at his blog post http://thebaldfatguy.com/2012/01/03/82-inch-3d-tv-hell-yeah/ and like his video.
This is just a quick thank you to those that have made a donation to my gofundme appeal. I thank my Friends of off Facebook, some of whom I haven’t seen in 20+ years since leaving school.
The latest donation has come from a fellow Blogger and Entrecard dropper, Doug of ‘Doug’s Missoula Montana Lifestyle‘. I thank you sir for your kind donation and have posted a link on my gofundme page to your blog as a way or saying thank you.
Well I hate making them should I say.
As my regular readers know I am giving Crowdfunding a go to raise funds to allow me to volunteer as a games maker in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. Well today I had a go at making a video introducing my self and what I am trying to do.
I am not the most videogenic person and my Cerebral Palsy does not help but I did it anyhow, please take a look :
If you like what you have just watched then if you can make a small donation please do so on my Gofundme site.