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 our ongoing initiatives 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 worked on admissions, the gantry and on the Titanic Beneath glass floor in the Titanic Experience. I really enjoyed learning new facts about Titanic and teaching these to guests. I also liked interacting with all the VE crew here at Titanic Belfast." - Matthew Patterson, Visitor Experience
"I've been making coffee and tea, toasting the sandwiches, doing till training, collecting stock and stocking out the shelves. I've also kept the tables clean and tidy. My favourite part has been making the coffee!" - Andrew Hornsby, The Galley Cafe
"I wanted to have work experience at Northern Ireland's best tourist attraction so I could put it on my CV!" - Aidan McFadden, Bistro 401
"I have been working at the top of the gantry, telling visitors all about the shipyard ride. We were also in other parts of the galleries like the glass floor. I most enjoyed the admissions desk because I got to interact with all the visitors and give them info!" - Simon Greig, Visitor Experience
"I learned how important it is to keep this public building clean and tidy, making sure there's no spillages on the floor - to keep it safe!" - Christina McConnell, Housekeeping
"I had a good experience, learning new things. I am interested in Titanic and got to learn computer and photographic skills for the future, customer service skills and working with the public." - Chauntelle Coleman, Titanic Store and Photographic
"It went really really good!" - Adam Maul, SS Nomadic
Joan McGinn, The Orchardville Society, Chief Executive noted, “We’re truly delighted to have partnered again with Titanic Belfast to stage this year’s museum takeover. Our participants have had the opportunity to experience real work across a range of job roles that will help them make more informed choices around their future career pathways. Of equal importance though are the amazing memories the day has created for all involved. The enthusiasm and engagement of Titanic Belfast’s staff, has made the day one that our participants will never forget."
Heather Graham, Titanic Belfast’s Head of Human Resources 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. As such, we are very proud of our partnership with Orchardville, and the Museum Takeover Day, is a very special part of this. 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!”