By Funding Manager Rosaleen Curran.
A few of the staff in the Belfast office were delighted to have the opportunity to volunteer for The BBC Experience – during the Tall Ships visit to Belfast Harbour from the 2nd to the 5th July. I can say that all of us were ready to sit down and relax over a cup of tea at the end of our shifts. It was hard work but a very rewarding experience
BBC offered members of the general public the chance to read the Weather Forecast using the green screen, which produced some hilarious moments. There was the Red Chair from The Voice – a hot seat for photographs all day every day. Even some Big Lottery staff had to get in on the act! Other experiences included reading the local news bulletin, producing jingles, sports commentating, radio broadcasting and advice on career and apprenticeships.
The fact that 37,000 people passed through the tent over the 3 days proves how popular this type of interactive opportunity is, in particular to the many children and young people who attended the event.
Head of Corporate Management at Big Lottery Deirdre Barker volunteered on the Friday. She said it was a great experience and a pleasure. “I’ve never seen so many excited children queuing up to present the weather forecast on camera. There was a great atmosphere – I think we saw a few future stars in the making.”
Communications officer Niamh Scullion volunteered on Thursday. “It was brilliant to see so many people in Belfast from all over the country, and from all over the world,” she said. “I worked on the BBC ‘radio show’ and it was full of hilarious moments and people discovering hidden dramatic talents. It was lovely to work with the BBC staff who made it great fun.”
Mark Adair, Head of Corporate and Community Affairs at BBC NI was responsible for formulating and managing the 3 day BBC Experience Event. The intention was to connect with the BBC audience, have conversations with people young and old about the BBC. BBC Experience is an interactive roadshow. It’s been to locations across Northern Ireland, showcasing the range of BBC services and the contribution that the BBC makes to cultural and community life.
The event at Tall Ships was the bigggest BBC Experience ever in Northern Ireland. I just wanted to say a huge thank-you on behalf of BBC Northern Ireland for all of the support that we received from our Big Lottery volunteers. They were brilliant – energetic, engaged and great fun. The BBC Experience event simply couldn’t have happened without them. We couldn’t have asked for a better, or more professional, team.
Mark Adair, BBC