Volunteers wanted to give Glasgow welcome to COP26 summit

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image captionVolunteer ambassador Lauren Ross from Lauriston is passionate about the environment

A recruitment drive is being launched to find volunteers for the UN climate conference in Glasgow.

About a thousand people are needed to help the delegates and visitors in and around the event which is being staged in the city.

The international summit is due to take place at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on 1 - 12 November 2021.

The vital climate talks are expected to bring together the largest gathering of heads of state ever hosted in the UK.

The volunteer programme is similar to the Commonwealth Games in 2014 when 15,000 people donned the distinctive red and white uniforms of the Clydesiders.

This time, only 1,000 volunteers are needed, with the event centred on a single venue, but some of those roles will also be in Edinburgh where delegates are expected to arrive and stay.

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image captionVolunteer ambassador Karen Donaldson from Cardonald is looking forward to welcoming delegates to the SEC in Glasgow

The UN will stage workshops on sustainability for the volunteers ahead of the conference.

Applications will be open from Wednesday and close on 31 March.

Volunteer roles in both cities include providing information on the conference and the venues, supporting delegates staying in and travelling around the city, and promoting the best of what Glasgow and Scotland has to offer.

Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Susan Aitken said: "Glasgow has firmly established itself among the best in the world at hosting world-class events and volunteers have long been at their centre. Our COP26 volunteers will provide delegates and visitors with our world-famous warm Glasgow welcome, ensuring they have the best possible experience.

"We are proud to be staging COP26 and I would encourage anyone interested in grasping this opportunity to step forward and be part of our volunteering team. You will be joining a collective of people who share your enthusiasm for the event, the cause and our vibrant city."

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image captionVolunteer ambassador Robert Alston from Glasgow is proud to welcome people to the city for such an important cause

COP26 president Alok Sharma said: "Time and time again we see the generosity of the great British public in making global events a triumph, and we are asking you to play a part in making COP26 a huge success.

"This is an exciting opportunity to volunteer in Glasgow and help us all tackle climate change."

Ahead of taking on their roles, volunteers will receive a workshop on sustainability from the UN and be given the training and tools required to carry out their roles successfully and confidently.

Glaswegian Karen Donaldson, from Cardonald, is a volunteer ambassador. She volunteered at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Glasgow Doors Open Day.

She said: "Being part of the volunteering programme is a cracking opportunity to represent your city. Through volunteering I've learned so many things and met so many people.

"Event volunteering is such a buzz, you get so much from it and it opens your mind. There's also a community spirit among all the volunteers. You're joining people from all walks of life and it gives you a warm feeling to know you're part of that team.

"Volunteering at COP26, in particular, will be a once-in-a-lifetime chance so for anyone thinking of applying, my advice would be: Do it."

COP26 was postponed by a year to November 2021 due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers still aim to hold the summit in person, with Glasgow as host city, but say they will put the health and wellbeing of all involved at the centre of any future decisions on the event.

You can apply to be a COP26 volunteer at www.ukcop26.org/volunteer.

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