Place maker volunteers for the Harrogate District

17 December 2012

Welcome to Harrogate, the district’s destination management organisation, last week chose Ripley Castle to launch its volunteer programme ‘Place Makers’.

Based on the successful London Olympics’ Games Makers, these local volunteers will be available to groups and organisations in the district to offer a ‘Welcome’ to visitors whether they are tourists or locals. They could help with anything from Christmas markets, to stewarding a concert or helping with tours of our heritage sites.


Julia Frater, Gay Steel, John Barnett, Simon Phillips QC, Nicky Garside, Mandy Hazel


Caroline Bayliss, a Director of Welcome to Harrogate Ltd, has taken on the role of co-ordinating this volunteer programme on behalf of the company.

Caroline said:

I had the very great pleasure of attending the Olympics and saw first-hand just what a difference the Games Makers made to people’s enjoyment. If you wanted to know something or find something all you had to do was ask these easily identifiable volunteers.

We will match our Place Makers’ skills and experience with the events they will able to support. We will also make sure that our Place Makers get enjoyment from these events too and we will be asking them to let us know what sort of things they want to do.

This district is host and home to a wide variety of events which all need support when high numbers are expected. As the project progresses, Welcome to Harrogate will provide the Place Makers with the appropriate branding – for example this could be sashes saying Welcome to Ripon, Welcome to Pateley Bridge, Welcome to the Great Yorkshire Show, etcetera.

Julia Frater was inspired to sign up as a Harrogate District Place Maker following her experience as an Olympics Games Maker.

Julia said:

I met some inspiring athletes which made me very proud to be British and an ambassador for the Olympics. I felt the Games Makers were an integral part of the tremendous success of the Games and I want to continue that contribution by being part of event volunteering in the Harrogate district.

Anyone interested in becoming a Place Maker for the Harrogate district, or anyone in the district who feels they could benefit from Place Maker support, should get in touch with Viv Graham on 01423 537439 or email

Caroline Bayliss concluded:

We are so lucky to live in this beautiful part of Yorkshire and we just want the visitor to have the very best experience. The launch of our Place Makers coincided with the announcement that Yorkshire has won the bid to host the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in 2014. I am confident that our Place Makers will be a valuable asset to this huge event that will do so much to showcase our area.

Welcome to Harrogate Limited was formed in April 2012 to develop the visitor tourism offering in the wider Harrogate area. The company is supported by Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Destination Harrogate, Yorkshire Agricultural Society and Harrogate Borough Council.

Welcome to Harrogate Limited is the destination management organisation for the Harrogate district. Its strength lies in a robust public-private partnership. The company will seek the support of a diverse range of more than 1000 businesses and organisations across the district, large and small, who share in the vision to promote the area as a world-class place in which to live, learn, work, visit and invest.

The company aims to raise the profile of the Harrogate district and the surrounding area, attract visitors, generate spend and deliver economic benefits as a result.

Welcome to Harrogate is chaired by local solicitor Peter McCormick OBE and he is supported by eight directors:

  • Peter Banks – Managing Director, Rudding Park
  • Councillor Caroline Bayliss – Harrogate Borough Council
  • Sharon Canavar – Chief Executive Harrogate International Festival
  • Sue Dalton – Head of Museums, Ripon Museum Trust
  • Sandra Doherty – President of Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce and Proprietor Alexa House Guest House
  • Chris MacKenzie – Managing Partner, The Whole Caboodle
  • Councillor Pat Marsh – Harrogate Borough Council
  • Kate Robey – Operations Manager for Provenance Inns


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