Just because the Tourist Information Centre is closed due to COVID-19, doesn’t mean that the staff are twiddling their thumbs at home!
Quite the opposite in fact, we are SO busy working from home and are keeping connected thanks to modern technology and our super helpful IT support company, Force 36.
For a start, we launched our brand new tourism website on the 1st April. This was built for us by local digital design agency, Tela, following an introduction from Fiona Tait of Saffron Walden Business Improvement District. We have all been learning how to operate the new website, adding content, imagery and news items. Few of us have used WordPress before, so lockdown has been a good opportunity to learn.
Do have a look at our new website and let us know what you think: www.visitsaffronwalden.gov.uk
So many projects have been initiated and/or progressed. Rachel has been working hard on the development, in conjunction with Saffron Walden Museum, of CV Walden: A Community Archive, encouraging local individuals, organisations, clubs, schools and businesses to submit their experiences of living through the CV-19 lockdown with a view to building an archive for future generations to study. As well as this, she has been preparing the TIC’s brand new book for local dog lovers for publication, has been keeping in touch with the TIC’s volunteers so that we maintain their sense of involvement in the TIC activity (albeit it very unusual activity at the moment), liaising with local companies who are still producing and delivering food in order to support their efforts through a series of recipes posted on Twitter, working to develop a photographic guide to Bridge End Garden as well as a new range of Bridge End Garden gifts produced in conjunction with Saffron Walden Community Shed….all of this, plus daily admin, and she is wondering how she ever found time to serve the general public!
Judith has been working on COVID-19 information posters, a report about Saffron Walden’s bus services for the County All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and the County Councils Network (CCN), and a possible Saffron Experience self-guided trail.
Mark has learnt so much about WordPress that he’s actually started to dream about websites! He has been posting news articles, adding new pages and making advertiser updates as and when they come in. As it’s the end of the financial year, he has been creating and submitting reports for Saffron Walden Town Council as well as starting an online Digital Marketing course with www.futurelearn.com and also proof reading the new Saffron Walden Official Guide.
Perhaps the most fun thing Mark has been involved in is filming an ‘Interesting Fact’ slot for Creative Walden’s weekly Lockdown TV show. Three episodes have been completed and are available to view via the Creative Walden You Tube Account.
Working one day a week, Claire has been using her working time to learn how to use WordPress; she is the only member of staff who has previous experience of this, and has been completing an online course on Travel and Tourism, also via www.futurelearn.com
The TIC Team continues to monitor emails and social media channels so that Saffron Walden’s residents and any prospective distant-future visitors have access to the information they need.
We all look forward to welcoming you back to the Tourist Information Centre as soon as we are able!
With very best wishes,
Rachel, Judith, Claire and Mark.