Fantastic Year of Culture volunteer ambassadors recognised by Reading’s Mayor

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Over 30 local people volunteered to be Reading Cultural Ambassadors this autumn, welcoming visitors to Reading at weekends during the first two months of the opening of Reading Prison for Artangel’s ‘Inside’ exhibition.

A celebration of their contribution to the town was hosted by the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Reading, Councillor Ayub in the Mayor’s Parlour at the Council Civic Offices on Wednesday 9 November. The volunteers were joined by representatives of Reading UK CIC, Reading Year of Culture, Reading Voluntary Action, Artangel and Annual Day Dream Harvest.

Organised by Reading UK CIC on behalf of Reading Year of Culture, the volunteers were based at Reading Station, providing a warm welcome to the town, directions to the prison and information on ‘Inside’ as well as other Reading 2016 events. Taking inspiration from the London 2012 Games Makers, the volunteers also promoted visits to Reading town centre, the Abbey Quarter and other places of interest in Reading.  Over the two months, they volunteered for over 400 hours and spoke to thousands of visitors and Reading residents alike about what’s on across Reading, operating as a mobile information point at Reading Station. 

20160911 111104 webReading-based arts organisation, Annual Day Dream Harvest constructed a mobile information base for the volunteers specifically for this project. ‘OUT’ was designed to be a functional information point with artistic interest in keeping with the year of culture – the three wheeled vehicle attracted much interest with many visitors approaching to find out more about what was going on in Reading.

Alex Brannen, Reading UK CIC, said: “Last night’s event was a chance to say thank you to all the amazing people that gave up their time in all weathers to make Reading a more welcoming place and to help visitors and locals alike appreciate what a great place Reading is.  Artangel’s ‘Inside’ has attracted over 18,000 visitors so far ( open until 4 December) and many of them arriving at the weekends have been welcomed at Reading Station by our team of Reading Year of Culture volunteers.”

Reading UK CIC would also like to thank Reading Voluntary Action for their support for the project as well as Network Rail and GWR Station Managers and staff at Reading Station.



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