The Orchardville Society, which works in partnership with young people and adults with learning disabilities and autism to prepare them for employment, staged a 'Museum Takeover' at Titanic Belfast recently!
The special event is just one of the initiatives undertaken as part of our Year of Access
, which aims to highlight the issue of disability access in its many forms and inspire the tourism industry locally, nationally and internationally to do more to better cater for those with access difficulties.
Orchardville’s clients, who were paired with a ‘shipmate’ mentor, took over operations across our Visitor Experience, Hospitality, Photographic, Learning and Retail departments, with all participants receiving Titanic Belfast’s bespoke "Five Skills to Five Star" training and Health and Safety preparation beforehand.
We spoke to the participants afterwards to see what they thought of the experience - take a look at their comments below!
"I have really enjoyed learning many tinteresting facts about Titanic and sharing these with people I have met. The staff have all been friendly and helpful. It has been good fun and I have enjoyed being here!" - Danny Brown, Visitor Experience
"I wanted to do this as it sounded fun and I wanted to get more experience to help me in finding a job. I really enjoyed getting to know more people too." - Daniel Brown, The Galley Cafe
"I have been doing everything today! I enjoyed the food counter the best and I enjoyed the day working with Lynn." - Jack Gardiner, Bistro 401
"My time in the gallieries was great...I was checking the admission tickets, talking to the guests and showing them to the shipyward ride. I have enjoyed everything and would really like [my mentor] Shirley's job!!" - Adam Maul, Visitor Experience
"I was very excited for my day working at Titanic Belfast, and looked forward to working with Jackie. I loved the independence of working here and will remember this special day!" - Martha Stewart, Housekeeping
"My favourite part of the day was working on the till. I also worked with customers and it was good fun merchandising and filling out the store!" - Joel Killops, Titanic Store
"We learned about the tills in the store, how to replenish the store and I helped pack the guests bags for Rachele. I got to speak to guests from all over the world and was telling them where I have been on holiday! i would love to have more work expeirence here and I'm going to bring all my family to visit someday!" - Jade Stewart, Titanic Store
"I wanted to do this because it's a useful experience. I know I will be glad I have done this in the future." - William McCullough, Learning and Outreach
"I was a bit nervous beforehand, especially about dealing with the public, but the day went quickly and I enjoyed it. Now I feel good and more confident!" - Karen Davis, SS Nomadic
"I learnt quite a lot today about working with a crowd to dealing with customers as they made their way into the museum. It was a really good experience all round." - Craig Dodds, Photographic
Craig, due to his love of photography worked in our photo concession, but also captured all the images of the day shown here himself!
Margaret Haddock, The Orchardville Society, Chief Executive noted, “Our participants loved the experience, not only were they challenged but they truly had fun working with their buddies and interacting with the public in a new dynamic environment. We are grateful for Titanic Belfast who is one of our employer Champions who have been committed to creating opportunities for local trainees to develop their skills, confidence and increase their employability.
Judith Owens, our Director of Operations said, “As one of the UK’s most accessible attractions, we are committed to ensuring access to employment by making any reasonable adjustments to break down barriers which could prevent access to employment.
At Titanic Belfast, we value our staff as one of our key assets. To ensure our world-class standards are met and maintained, all our employees go through a robust training programme, including substantial on the job and bespoke customer service training. As part of our Year of Access, we are delighted to share this with the Orchardville Society. We are so pleased and proud to have facilitated such a successful Museum Takeover Day.
Credit must be paid to everyone who took part, they were all fabulous and definitely have the ‘T’ factor we look for. It was great to see them develop over the course of the training and day itself!”