Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Two volunteers from North Devon did their bit to contribute to the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
VOLUNTEERS from North Devon have had the opportunity of a lifetime helping out with the Paralympic Games.
Wounded soldier Staff Sergeant Paul Gammon, 39, from Ilfracombe, was invited to take part in the closing ceremony with charity Help for Heroes.
In the segment, Paul and 15 other wounded servicemen and women entered the stadium to the national anthem pushing a large metal platform designed to look like an historic gun turret.
Paul, who serves with the Royal Logistics Corps, said: “It was an amazing thing to be part of.
“Help for Heroes have supported me the whole way through my recovery and I know they will be there for the rest of my life; this was another opportunity that they gave me and I jumped at the chance to be involved.
“Being part of the closing ceremony was an incredible experience and something I will never forget.”
Meanwhile Bideford student Leanne Glover, 22, spent 10 days in London helping out as a volunteer and glimpsing the stars throughout the games.
While greeting spectators in the VIP area she saw many a famous face including Lord Sebastian Coe and the Duchess of Cambridge, and got to watch Oscar Pistorius and David Weir race.
She said: “One particular memory that stands out for me is the young children who would run up to us and give us ‘high fives’; something simple, but it gave me the most comforting feeling of pride and achievement in what I was doing.
“It is very difficult to describe the whole experience; unbelievable, amazing, inspiring, but words cannot truly reflect what it was like.
“Each shift was very tiring and hard work, but seeing the excitement, enjoyment and other emotions from the spectators, particularly the young children and those with disabilities, and how grateful they were for our help made it all worthwhile and I would do it all again in an instant.”