Volunteering – Town Centre Ambassadors – Ongoing
Town Centre Ambassadors project
These are extremely challenging times for many independent retailers, in Wrexham and elsewhere. We need to raise awareness of just how much our town still has to offer – both on event days and others. Even after thirty plus years trading in the town centre we still sometimes get someone turn up in our shop who says “Gosh, I’ve lived in this area for ten years and I never knew this lovely shop was here!”
Another frustration is that when we do have an event in the town, its often hard for people in (say) Eagles Meadow or Island Green shopping centres, to realise that there is anything extra going on that might tempt them to explore a little further. And sometimes even people who have come into town for that event, go away disappointed because they have not realised just where various things are happening! We know this is true because of the comments we receive on social media.
Social media can only do so much; what we need are friendly people on the spot, roving through the different areas welcoming people with a big smile, helping them to find what they need (library, toilets, a particular shop, or whatever.) And armed with maps, flyers, heritage trail leaflets, and so on – to make sure people remember their visit to Wrexham town centre with pleasure and want to repeat it soon.
Martin and I decided to kick start the project in November from our own business funds, with a two-pronged effort – a flyer on Independent Wrexham, and a first batch of tabards to be worn by our volunteers. An appeal on the Wrexham Town Matters Facebook group quickly produced our first volunteer Ambassadors, and six people so far have ventured out in the tabards on some of the Saturdays before Christmas. We all received a largely positive reception as we distributed copies of the flyer, the Snowflake Trail entry form and the WCBC Christmas booklets.
AVOW has posted this volunteer opportunity on the “Volunteer Wales” database which should help us gain extra support. (Link: http://www.volunteering-wales.net/opportunity/29990/)
Joe Bickerton of the WCBC Tourism team is hoping to design some online training for us. And I have secured permission for the Ambassadors to operate within Eagles Meadow, hopefully I will do so for Island Green as well shortly. Various places in town have supplies of tabards, leaflets etc so you can grab them and put an odd hour in if and when you have the time!
I believe this is a great way to build community spirit, and make sure all those coming to our town centre – both residents and tourists – have a really great time. There’s no need to commit to a set number of hours or regular days – if everyone does a little when they can, it will all add up! You can make a difference, have a laugh and make new friends at the same time.
To get involved, either contact me, Ruth Rees, via Facebook Messenger, or email email@example.com – or drop in our shop, Martin Rees Jewellers in Chester Street – or you can follow the link above on the Volunteer Wales website.