Bo’ness railway’s army of enthusiasts praised on International Volunteers Day
Scotland’s national tourism organisation has highlighted the importance of volunteers within the sector to mark International Volunteers Day 2020.
VisitScotland said they were invaluable to a host of venues and organisations as they take on roles from tour guides to train drivers.
Volunteering contributes £5.5billion to the economy in Scotland every year, with 48% of adults having offered their services on an informal or formal basis.
The huge contribution they make to the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, operators of The Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway, was one of the projects highlighted.
Amanda Kilburn, business development director at SRPS, said: “Almost all of the people who work here are volunteers, from those who maintain the track, carriages and steam engines, to the many who welcome visitors to enjoy the ambiance of a golden age.
“Without them giving up their precious time there would be no heritage railway in Bo’ness and the skills they bring are so valuable in preserving Scotland’s railway history.”
The railway group has over 300 volunteers who, she said, “put their passion in to creating something really special.”Amanda added: “Our volunteers are highly regarded as one of the best parts of the visit and always go the extra mile to please.
“They are often seen engaging in conversation and listening as people recall their personal memories which creates a bond between us and our visitors.”
Malcolm Roughhead, VisitScotland chief executive, said: “We wanted to showcase some of the individuals who give up their time to offer a friendly smile, a unique tale and their own expertise to enhance the visitor experience.”