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Ham family show uncommon love of Olympics
A family from Ham Common gave up their day jobs for two weeks to be a part of a 70,000-strong army of volunteers who made the Olympics a success.
Paul Massey, 54, who runs an IT business, Kate Massey, 52, who runs an IT and telecoms recruitment business, and their daughter Marie, 20, a student at Exeter University, all committed their time to help with the smooth running of the Games.
The family of volunteers, of Martingales Close, were some of the many seen as the unsung and unpaid heroes.
Coming from an east London background, they naturally felt an attachment to the area and decided to swap a relaxing summer away for a hectic Olympic schedule.
Mr Massey said: “I felt a great affinity to Stratford, having spent my life standing on platform eight on Stratford station waiting for a train, looking out across the spans of nothing, and now that’s the Olympic park.”
His wife added: “I thought it would be a shame living here and just watching it. To be able to say that I’ve been involved in it is something I will always remember.”
The trio completed an online application form, an interview and three days of training.
Mr Massey and his daughter were selected as games makers at the Horse Guards Parade beach volleyball venue and Mrs Massey as a games maker at the Olympic park. They all worked on security alongside the military.
Dressed in distinctive red and purple uniforms, which Kate now wears to the gym, enabled the volunteers to break down barriers and engage in conversations with strangers.
Mrs Massey said: “The minute you got outside the door you felt special, because people would come up to you and speak to you. It was the most interesting experience I’ve ever had before.”
Famous people slipping through were not the only highlight, but the friendliness it seemed to generate among the public made it a pleasurable experience.
Marie said: “Meeting and working with other volunteers from different jobs and ages, listening to the military’s stories and getting to see the final women’s beach volleyball were my highlights.
“We won’t ever get the same atmosphere or a similar situation again and to think that’s over is a sad thing really.”
The trio have returned to reality this week after an experience which made them all proud to be British.