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Liverpool's new army of Blue Badge Guides sworn in

First course in 16 years sees 22 people pass exams

Published on May 21st 2013.


Liverpool's new army of Blue Badge Guides sworn in
 

THE first crop of Liverpool Blue Badge guides in 16 years has graduated with a ceremony at the Town Hall last night.

Twenty-two people were given their colours following 10 months of intense studying, graft and exams.

1 - Lcrbluebadge1405 - Group Shot Stairs
The new guides were presented with their official Blue Badges and certificate by the outgoing Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Sharon Sullivan.

They were joined at the event by Robert Hough, Chair of Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and Tony Anderson, president of the Institute of Tourist Guiding.

The course, costing individuals £2,700. was commissioned by the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, which encompasses the tourist board, Visit Liverpool. A recruitment drive was launched last April, with the successful applicants starting to study in June. The group are aged between 26 and 72.

Delighted

The Blue Badge is the internationally recognised benchmark of excellence in tourist guiding, which is accredited by the Institute of Tourist Guiding (ITG).

Pam Wilsher, Head of Visitor Economy Development at LCR LEP, said: “This is the first time in 16 years that we have been able to offer the opportunity to gain a Blue Badge qualification, and we are delighted to welcome our new recruits into our family of 90 existing guides."

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The detailed prospectus included an extensive range of topics covering history, architecture, geography, religion, culture, sport and the arts. The course also included site visits to venues including historic houses and sites, visitor centres, and museums and galleries. There was also a strong focus on tour craft – the art of being a great guide as well as more practical considerations such as health and safety and working as a self-employed guide.

The guides come from a variety of backgrounds and age groups, with some already working as guides and others for whom it is a completely new business opportunity. 

Some of the guides are now choosing to focus on niche areas of the Visitor Economy, such as the developing Waterfront; comedy tours; culture and architecture.

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