Balbir Seimar from Walsall was in Birmingham’s Victoria Square in April 2018 for the iconic handover ceremony from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to Birmingham 2022.
Balbir and her son helped with dress rehearsals for the elaborate and dramatic performance, complete with Mr Bluesky soundtrack, and helped to guide the public on the day itself.
She has also volunteered as a marshal during the London 2012 Olympic Torch relay through West Bromwich, and at several other major sporting events, where she’s helped to direct crowds, register competitors, clean courts and organise food and drink for other volunteers.
The benefits of volunteering, she says, are endless:
“I have met so many like minded people as well as learned from many others. I’ve learned to understand diverse communities working towards a common goal. It’s supported my mental health and physical wellbeing, and given me potential experience in leadership and team building, all useful transferable skills in any job.”
“From my experience, it will be the most exhilarating experience of your life.”
Balbir also volunteers in her everyday life, too, helping with local litter picking charity WASUP (World Against Single Use Plastic), tidying up waterways and streets in Walsall and around the West Midlands. The group is part of the United By Birmingham 2022 community programme, and has hundreds of volunteers giving up their time. They recently spent the day with para swimming legend Ellie Simmonds as they picked up litter along Walsall’s canals.
Balbir says she’ll be applying to volunteer at Birmingham 2022, and says anyone considering it shouldn’t hesitate:
“I have felt valued and included as a volunteer, sharing experiences and knowledge, and it makes me immensely proud to have been a part of some massive events. There really is no better way to give back to your community. I can’t wait to apply to volunteer for Birmingham 2022 and be a part of such a special event for the West Midlands.”