The Bridge’s Learning Facilitators have been awarded the prestigious White Badge qualification from the Institute of Tourist Guiding, becoming the first destination in Bristol to hold the award and the first in the South West to qualify for a decade. Participating in an intensive programme of lectures, practical sessions and hands-on training the team then had to pass both written and tour guiding examinations to receive the accolade.
Carole Hiley, President of the Institute of Tourist Guiding explained “The aim of the White Badge is for guides to demonstrate a high standard in delivering interesting commentary which is clear, coherent and accurate. The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust have used this programme to train a new cohort of Learning Facilitators, providing them with the skills and information required to give professional and informative tours and presentations.”
Chair of Trustees, Chris Booy, said “During this course, our Learning Team developed their site-specific knowledge as well as studying topics such as Bristol’s maritime history and development as a city and the geological and botanical importance of the Avon Gorge. We are proud of what the team has achieved and in the high quality of the educational tours they are providing. Our partnership with the ITG shows that our tours have been externally accredited by experts for their knowledge and skills in customer care, reaffirming the bridge and Bristol as a quality destination.”
The training programme was supported by Steps to Sustainability, a National Lottery Heritage Fund programme delivered by the Social Enterprise Academy which supports heritage organisations across the UK to strengthen their strategic leadership and income-generating skills.
Tours of the bridge for schools and children’s groups led by the Learning Facilitators are now available to book, and family ‘Vaults Visits’ providing the chance to explore the chambers below the Leigh Woods tower will begin in Easter 2023. Free tours of the bridge led by Volunteer Guides also take place every weekend and bank holiday during the winter at 2pm.
L-R: Accredited Trainer Nick Gane, Chief Examiner Richard Bartelot and Carole Hiley, President of the Institute of Tourist Guiding; with Learning Facilitators Amy Shapiro, Georgia Zervudachi, Jenny Cooper, Pippa Millar, Laura Hilton and Etain O’Shea.