Commonwealth Games: Salvation Army hosts Glasgow 2014 volunteers

published on 22 Jul 2014

The Salvation Army is taking part in a scheme to give athletes' families and volunteers a place to stay during the Commonwealth Games.

Salvationist Elizabeth Pye and her family, from Erskine, are among 170 people from churches across Scotland who have signed up to host visitors - many of whom would otherwise have been unable to afford the Games experience.

The mother of one is a member of Erskine corps and says she is delighted to be part of the Athlete Family and Volunteer Homestay Programme.

Elizabeth, her husband Ian and daughter Rebecca, 19, have already welcomed their new houseguest – a Commonwealth Games volunteer called Beenish Kamal, from Bath, who is a physio for the rugby sevens.

Elizabeth, whose daughter Rebecca is also a Glasgow 2014 volunteer, said: “I got involved in the homestay programme because I have a niece and nephew who take part in athletics at a local and national level and I'd like to think someone would put them up if they were in that position.

“Bobby Weir, who is the sports ministry co-ordinator for The Salvation Army, came out to our corps to do a presentation on the homestay programme, which was interesting and helped a lot.

                             [Related content: Commonwealth Games]

“When Beenish arrived at the airport we picked her up and took her to Loch Lomond for a meal and some drinks. It was really lovely. We made sure her room was ready and the next day we cooked her breakfast and made her dinner. We even introduced her to my mum and dad.

“It feels like she's just part of the family now. In fact we gave Beenish a spare key, which came in handy because we ended up getting locked out and had to call her.”

Rebecca, a student at Glasgow University, is working at the athletes’ village and is also part of the Clydesiders Chorus. She said: “It’s great to be right in the thick of the Commonwealth Games activity. There is a lot of excitement around the village and it’s just a great place to work.

“I’m also looking forward to being part of the Big Big Big Sing on Sunday July 27. The Clydesiders Chorus will be among many choirs performing at the special Commonwealth Games event at Glasgow Green. I can’t wait.”

The Athlete Family and Volunteer Homestay Programme is organised by More than Gold - an ecumenical umbrella charity for Christian churches during major sporting events. Since Atlanta in 1996, every two years between the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games, it has been moving on from country to country.

Meanwhile, Erskine Salvation Army staged a special dinner on Sunday July 20 for 60 Commonwealth Games volunteers from different countries. The church and charity hosted the event for mission teams staying at the Bible Centre in Inchinnan.

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