Cardiff Business Improvement District (BID) is introducing its Street Ambassadors. This week we welcome Andy and Louise.
In April, Cardiff Business Improvement District (BID) launched their team of Street Ambassadors, recruited to give local businesses a voice and make sure visitors to the city have the best possible experience during their stay. Here’s how two of them have been getting on:
Andy Pole, age 51 from Merthyr Tydfil
“It’s nice to be out and about meeting different people, the city workers, the statutory bodies and volunteers, all the people who make the city work really.”
Almost 60 days in to his position as Cardiff BID Street Ambassador, ex-police officer Andy has been relishing his new role, building relationships with business owners and employees as well as helping out shoppers and tourists.
“As a team, I’d say we visited between 300 and 500 businesses over the last month. I know some of the guys are also making contact via email so in total I’d say we’ve at least introduced ourselves in some way to around 500.
“Businesses ask a lot about road closures and travel updates as this often affects their business. Tourists on the other hand are always interested in the red uniforms and what we’re all about. I explain to them what we’re doing and that we’re here to help.
“This month, we recovered an Australian tourist’s lost mobile phone which was a nice feeling. She had travelled to France to work and then to Cardiff to study but had left her phone, with all her train and plane tickets on, on a coach. We managed to put her in touch with the bus company and get it back to her which was brilliant because she’d been so upset!
“We’ve also helped an old lady who had broken her shoulder falling over on Mill Lane. We stayed with her until the cycle paramedics arrived and made sure she was going to be okay.
“Now that we’ve completed a month of working in the city, people are starting to recognise us and a lot of business owners know me on a first name basis. A few have asked me in for a coffee and a chat.”
Louise O’Hanlon, age 48 from Heath
“People are starting to realise who we are and what we’re doing now. It’s been a bit like a test this month and I think we’ve seen really positive results so far.”
Louise has thoroughly enjoyed her six weeks as a Street Ambassador as she loves being outdoors and meeting new people. She thinks that visiting ten businesses a day has given the ambassadors a chance to start building relationships with those in the BID area.
“People in the streets have started reading the backs of our jackets then coming up to ask us what we are doing, which is great. Not only does it let us meet more people but also gives us a chance to explain exactly what Cardiff BID is about.
“There have been a couple of occasions where I’ve helped tourists in particular over the last month. Mostly people just ask for directions but when one couple asked me to point out a camera shop I walked them to it myself, then gave them a list of similar shops in case they didn’t find what they were looking for. I think it’s important that we give as many businesses a chance at custom as possible.
“The most frequent questions I’ve been asked are definitely about travel. Now the bus station is closed, even local people are confused about where to go, so we’ve been able to help make sure they get on the right buses. I’ve also called taxis for people and waited with them until it arrived.
“We’ve spent the last month establishing really good contacts around the city. We’re often the first ones to see things, as we’re out on the streets every day, now we know exactly who to notify if something does happen.
“For example, I spotted some fresh graffiti in a quieter part of town the other day and was able to call the council and arrange for someone to come and clean it really quickly. We want people to keep seeing us as a source of help as our role carries on.”
To find out more about Cardiff BID and their team of Street Ambassadors, visit: http://cardiffbid.com/