Forest Gate’s Ursuline Convent to provide rooms for Olympic athletes’ families

Relatives of Olympics athletes from developing countries will be offered places to stay at the Ursuline convent in Forest Gate during the Games.

The four nuns who run the house in Grosvenor Road will provide bed and board for families keen to watch their relatives compete on the highest stage.

The convent has signed up to the More than Gold programme, which works with churches keen to get involved this summer.

Sister Catherine Kelly said they were glad to offer their support during what is expected to be a fraught but exciting time of the year for athletes’ families.

She said: “We would like to help those who cannot possibly afford the hotel prices that are being advertised at the moment.

“We said we would offer two rooms with bed and breakfast for two people, but if they want to bring more people they can.

“There are no benefits for us. If you have children taking part in the Olympics you want to see them. This is where we come in to help on a financial basis.”

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The Recorder revealed earlier this year that some Stratford hotels were block-booked by entire families months in advance.

And latecomers can expected to be charged double normal rates for a room in the area.

It is a busy time for the Ursuline Order. St Angela’s School celebrated its 150th anniversary yesterday (Tuesday) with a mass.

Sister Kelly said she was convinced the Olympics would provide a long-term boost to Newham despite fears over disruption to the borough.

Twenty-eight pupils at Ursuline-affiliated convent schools in the likes of Ilford, Greenwich, and Wimbledon will also be volunteering at the Games.

She added: “We are incredibly excited about the Olympics - and I have got tickets to the 100m men’s heats, just by applying.

“This area has so much potential, just waiting to be unlocked.”