Successful first season for welcome team

Volunteers in Seaton look forward to welcoming even more visitors to the resort next season.

The friendly faces of the Seaton Welcome Team are enjoying a well-earned rest after a successful first season.

The welcome team, which is made up of volunteers, has been on hand throughout the summer, giving directions and advice to visiting tourists.

However, they will be back on duty for the Christmas Festival on December 7 and again in April for the Easter holidays.

Gaynor Segdwick, who has helped put the team together, said: “We are really pleased that the season has gone so well in terms of the volunteers and the response there has been from visitors, local people and local businesses.

“It has been lovely to see coach loads of visitors going in to explore the town and use the local businesses.”

She added: “This year the volunteers have just been amazing.

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“They have been so reliable and committed to the project.”

The scheme has been running since April and Gaynor hopes to increase the welcome team’s presence in the town by attracting more volunteers to join up.

It has been an enjoyable experience for the volunteers who say they are looking forward to doing it all again next year.

The volunteers said: “It is a step in the right direction to promote Seaton. The visitors are always pleased to see us.

“It makes people feel welcome in the town.”

Questions from visitors range from “Where’s the sea?” to more bizarre requests such as “Where can I get some Viagra?” - making sure the volunteers are always kept on their toes.

To celebrate the end of the season the team will be having a special tea party.

The volunteers have had a warm response from not only visitors but also local residents and businesses in the resort.

Marcus Hartnell, the chairman of Seaton and District Chamber of Commerce, said: ““In the absence of signage down there at the moment, the welcome team are making sure people are aware of where the town centre and seafront are.

“They have made sure that people found the shops and the beach and they have definitely been a big help.

“We would certainly welcome the welcome team doing it all again next year.”

The Welcome Team has flagged up areas of improvement in the town including the lack of signage, which is being addressed by Seaton Town Council and East Devon District Council.

People of all ages can become volunteers and can choose their own hours.

Those interested in joining the welcome team are urged to call Gaynor on 01297 625671 for more information.