Congratulations to our amazing volunteer ushers
On Friday 1st November, our wonderful Harrogate Theatre Ushers accepted the Organisation of the Year award at the Volunteer Oscars. Let us tell you a little more about why they so deserve this recognition.
At Harrogate Theatre we currently have around 120 volunteer ushers signed up and between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019 they donated 13,651 hours of their time to the theatre. This is the equivalent of 569 full days (24 hours), or 1,706 working days. Harrogate Theatre literally couldn’t exist without them.
Our ushers are split into a Front of House and an Auditorium team. Depending on the show, the Front of House Ushers warmly welcome people into the building, deal with general queries, work in the sweet shop in the foyer, and sell programmes. Our Auditorium Ushers check show tickets at the entrance to the various auditoria (stall, circle, and balcony), show people to their seats, and help to ensure that everyone is seated and comfortable before the show begins. Ushers are also trained to support a safe evacuation in case of a fire in the building and assist with any first aid requirements.
Particularly at panto time our ushers are extremely busy. With 70+ shows over 40+ days, it’s a demanding programme for everyone in our Front of House team – which includes our volunteers. What’s more, as most shows sell out that’s potentially more than a thousand people coming through the building on any one day. Every year approximately 60-70 volunteer ushers are on the hectic 8-week pantomime rota.
We are incredibly grateful to all the volunteers we have who not only give their time freely but also act as ambassadors for Harrogate Theatre out in the community. Every one of them is an important member of our extended team. We are very lucky as we have many ushers who will stay with us for many years – several have been with us for more than 20 years and some of the current volunteers have been with us since the 1970s! It’s a group of people who simply love Harrogate Theatre and want to play a part in taking care of the 119-year-old gem at the heart of Harrogate for future generations to enjoy.
Put quite simply, we could not put on shows at Harrogate Theatre and the Royal Hall without them. They are an important part of the visitor experience we deliver, and they really are our superstars!