Volunteers from Wirral Mencap have been helping visitors on their way to enjoy The Open’s return to Hoylake.
Wirral Mencap, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary, jumped at the chance to be involved with the golfing tournament being back at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club.
Tens of thousands of visitors are expected each day, with the main championship days from July 20 to 23 anticipated to be the busiest.
Those who take part in the volunteer scheme welcome visitors to Hoylake and West Kirby, provide directions and offer information about the local area – and show visitors what a beautiful place Wirral is.
In their bright yellow bibs the volunteers are located at key locations and are an essential part of the planning to help people arriving in the town find their way and make the most of their visit.
Ben, Gateway Manager at Wirral Mencap, which is based on Market Street in Birkenhead, said, “It has been nice to try different things. We had a different group of volunteers here on Tuesday as well, and yesterday we managed to get on the course and try the Swingzone which has lots of different fun golf games. It was nice to get some of our members on there.”
Wirral was the first Open location to have the ambassadors scheme, when The Open returned in 2006, and the Championship organisers, the R&A, has carried it on at other locations to help golf fans at the other Open locations.
Programmes Development Manager, Rachel, said, “It’s nice to use this to raise awareness. When the volunteers were here on Tuesday it was wet and rainy but they really enjoyed it. Wednesday was something a bit different, going on the course and the Swingzone – we don’t always get the chance to try things like that.”
Ben added, “It has been a privilege to be part of this and involved – it only happens every eight or nine years. And it’s great to see our members getting the same opportunities as everyone else and also to help out with such an event – it’s a win-win for everyone.”
Image: Wirral Mencap volunteers, from left, Loyd, Michael, Josh, and Nicola