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Grand Central launches Station Ambassador programme in Thirsk

ByDave Stopher

Sep 14, 2016


The Grand Central Station Ambassador programme involves designated volunteers supporting passengers at stations on Sundays and occasional bank holidays. The initiative has been designed to support the Thirsk community and ensure that visitors always receive a warm welcome to the town.

In collaboration with Thirsk Tourist Information, World of James Herriot and Thirsk Yarnbombers, the rail operator is hosting a recruitment session for the voluntary scheme at Rural Arts, The Courthouse, on 18th October. The event begins at 6pm and will involve an informational session during which attendees will be able to learn more about the initiative, its qualification requirements and the benefits it would bring to the local area.

As part of their integration into the Grand Central team, successful candidates will receive travel perks with Grand Central, as well as other benefits to be announced at the recruitment event.

More than 30 station ambassadors work with Grand Central to respond to passenger queries and provide them with a friendly welcome to the towns along Grand Central’s North East and West Riding routes. In addition, they support station management by helping improve operational safety and efficiency at the station. Currently, the Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe and Brighouse stations are supported by the Grand Central Station Ambassador programme.

Richard McClean, Managing Director of Grand Central Rail, said: “We are excited to launch the programme in Thirsk and eager to hear from community residents who would like to support their local station and welcome visitors to their town. For the volunteering ambassadors, the programme presents a great way to contribute to the community they live in, as well as fantastic learning and development opportunities for a potential career in the rail, travel or tourism sectors. Also, Grand Central is known for its commitment to customer service and as such, our Station Ambassador programme is designed to give passengers access to friendly, local representatives who can assist on Sundays and public holidays, when stations are relatively less busy.”

Peter Rush at Thirsk Tourist Information said: “Thirsk Tourist Information has worked closely with Grand Central in promoting Thirsk in the past. Many visitors to Thirsk arrive by rail and, in supporting the Ambassador Scheme, we hope that travel, and other, information will be available at the point of arrival/departure in this lovely area.  In the longer term we hope that feedback from Ambassadors will lead to continued improvement to the station for the benefit of visitors and locals alike.

Thirsk residents can sign up to be a part of the initiative by attending the recruitment session. The Grand Central Station Ambassador programme is set to launch in November.