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Museum of Cannock Chase

This fascinating place, once home to the Valley Colliery, was the training pit for thousands of young men beginning their working lives in the local coal industry. The pit has now gone and been replaced by over 30 acres of green space with a Museum complex that tells fascinating stories of industrial and military heritage, local life, famous citizens and much more.

The attraction has a key location in the County of Staffordshire because it is situated at the gateway to the Hednesford Hills Nature Reserve which forms one of the last remaining areas of heathland in Britain.

When Nicola Bannister, Visitor Services Officer at the Museum, heard about the Staffordshire Ambassador programme she was keen to become involved because customers often asked questions about the area and wanted information not only about historical and social facts, but on places to eat, stay, visit and explore. ‘They struggled with enquiries regarding places a little further afield from Cannock,’ she said ‘so we decided to participate in the training with the aim of extending our tourism knowledge and becoming Ambassadors for the County.’

The training has provided staff with a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the area where they live and work and has helped them become more confident and knowledgeable in their responses to visitor enquiries either face to face or over the telephone. Since participating in the training the learning has continued as staff share and pass on information about the region that will ultimately be helpful to their visitors.

The Staffordshire Ambassador training benefits the visitor economy overall through promoting and raising awareness of what is available. ‘There is also an element of customer service throughout the day with invaluable and practical hints and tips such as smiling when you are on the telephone. Another outcome was being able to network with other local businesses.’ said Nicola.

Those attending Ambassador courses are also given the opportunity to gain a Level 2 City and Guilds customer service Award and several staff at the Museum of Cannock Chase have now achieved national accreditation.

Participation in the Staffordshire Ambassador programme is heavily subsidised through the European Regional Development Fund managed by Destination Staffordshire and delivered through Tourism South East.

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