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Pandemonium Drummers Win Special Achievement Award

At the Team London 2013 Awards, the Pandemonium Drummers were presented with the Special Achievement Award by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and 2012 Special Achievement Award winner Darwin Bernardo.

The 2013 Mayor’s Special Achievement award acknowledges the journey of volunteers who began their volunteering during the 2012 Games and have continued to volunteer, making a significant impact in their community, overcoming barriers or have given exceptional commitment to one of the Mayoral priority areas.

Lightbulb Bowler Hats conquer City Hall

The Award Ceremony was held on Monday 25th November 2013 in The Chamber of London's iconic City Hall - only four months ago, we were still on the outside.

While we were not allowed to bring our drums, a group of six drummers in the 2012 Closing Ceremony costume placed themselves prominently in the middle of the hall and switched their lightbulbs on when the nominees for the Special Achievement category were read out.

Photo by london.gov.uk
But that was towards the end of the ceremony - before, Veronica Wadley, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for Volunteering, introduced the event, and Martine Wright, Team GB sitting volleyball 2012 Paralympian and survivor of the 7/7 London bombings gave a particularly moving keynote speech, culminating in a standing ovation.

20 awards in various categories for under 25s, over 25s and teams provided an inspirational whirlwind tour of diverse volunteering successes in London and turned the ceremony in a worthy and humbling celebration - while six drummers were getting increasingly nervous.

The final 21st award was the Mayor's Special Achievement Award with five nominees, and when Darwin Bernardo opened the golden envelope to read out our name, our six drummers were instantly excited, proud and honoured.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was given no choice and gently coerced to wear a spare blue bowler lightbulb hat when he handed over the award trophy to us.

The ceremony ended with a musical performance by Mayor of London's Gigs Competition finalist Charlotte Campbell, who sang her own interpretation of Waterloo Sunset, a song we knew well from the London 2012 Closing Ceremony, where we marshalled the athletes.

A Huge Recognition

Pandemonium Drummers in City Hall
on the giant satellite photo of London
This award represents our first big recognition of our own work in our own name, demonstrating our successful transition from the volunteers who drummed in the 2012 Opening Ceremony to The Pandemonium Drummers as a standalone group.

In a room full of highly remarkable volunteers we felt humbled as we were just having fun all the time, but the award actually acknowledges the wide range of contributions we were able to make since the end of the London 2012 Olympics.

It is therefore time to look back and reflect on our own activities and achievements, some of which include:

This non-exhaustive list might be the reason why Hamish Jenkinson nominated us for the Team London Volunteer Award, and why we were selected as winners - and our now established catchphrase perfectly summarises the list:
This is why we do it!

The Pandemonium Drummers with the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and previous winner Darwin Bernardo.
Photo credit: Kois Miah

Thanks to all our supporters, friends and members!

Full list of Team London 2013 Award Winners

ABOUTPandemonium Drummers

The Pandemonium Drummers were originally put together by London 2012 Ceremonies for the Pandemonium segment of Danny Boyle's spectacular Olympic Opening Ceremony. Following the Ceremony, the volunteer drummers kept on performing at a variety of events.

Based on their extensive training, they performed at other Opening Ceremonies, including the UEFA Champions League Final 2013, the FA Cup Final 2014, and the Heineken Cup Final 2014, and at a variety of large and small festivals as well as sports and community events. The Pandemonium Drummers are a returning act in London's major parades, including the London New Years' Day Parade, St Patrick's Day Parade, and the Lord Mayor's Show, and they coined Cheer Drumming, supporting runners at major sports events across the capital and beyond. The Pandemonium Drummers have supported the Special Olympics, the Teenage Cancer Trust, and a wide range of other charities.

The Pandemonium Drummers are a constituted association with charitable aims, and are working on a non-profit basis as volunteers.

[ More about the Pandemonium Drummers ]

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