Brighton & Hove City Council’s tourism arm, VisitBrighton, is looking for people with local knowledge and a passion for the city to join its team of on-street volunteers, the City Champions. The role involves welcoming visitors and offering help and advice about what to see and do in the city during their stay.
Volunteers receive a branded uniform and are stationed at key locations throughout the city, including the Royal Pavilion, Brighton train station and along the city centre seafront.
Since the launch of the scheme at Easter 2014, the team has already welcomed around 10,000 visitors helping them to get the most out of their visit.
Recruits need to commit to a minimum of six months at a time and be available to cover a variety of shifts, including some weekends. They will need to deal confidently with people of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities, and have a friendly, helpful and patient attitude.
As well as developing new skills, volunteers will receive a pass giving them free admission into some of the city’s main tourist attractions as well as invitations to tourism networking events organised by VisitBrighton.
Geoffrey Bowden, chair of BHCC’s Economic Development & Culture Committee said: “The City Champion scheme is working really well and it’s fantastic that so many visitors have been helped by our volunteers since its launch. First impressions are so important and a friendly greeting is a wonderful way to project the spirit of Brighton & Hove. We’re extremely lucky to have such a great team on board and look forward to enlisting more enthusiastic residents in this next wave of recruitment.”
Regular City Champion, Paul, says “I have been volunteering as a City Champion since the beginning of the scheme. It only involves a few hours each week but it’s given me the opportunity to meet visitors from, not just the UK but, all over the world.”
“As a Brighton resident I’m able to give an insider’s guide to the wide range of attractions and activities that make the city such a popular destination so it not only provides a useful service for our visitors, but it’s also very rewarding and great fun.”
City Champion, Alan adds “Having had a lifetime in the hotel industry I’m used to interacting with people from all walks of life. Projecting a warm welcome with a smile, listening patiently and knowing you’ve been of genuine help to someone is extremely rewarding plus I get to use my limited knowledge of languages occasionally which is also very satisfying”.
More information and an application form can be found at www.visitbrighton.com/city-champions or for an informal chat you can telephone VisitBrighton on 01273 292613.
Notes for editors
On-street guides are not new to Brighton, in the 50s a group of smartly dressed models, known as Promettes, regularly patrolled the seafront at weekends offering advice and answering tourists’ questions, and VisitBrighton already runs a popular Greeter scheme, part of the Global Greeter Network, where volunteers take visitors around the city to show them their favourite places.
VisitBrighton is the official destination marketing body for Brighton & Hove and it is part of the city council. VisitBrighton.com was established to provide tourists with details of where to stay, what to see and where to visit during their stay. The website also provides exclusive offers and discounted rates on attractions, entertainment and accommodation.