Volunteer Tour Guide Training

This event forms part of our National Lottery Heritage Fund project Flat Holm – A Walk Through Time

Date and Time
Date(s) - April 6, 2024
9:30 am-12:30 pm

What are we looking for?

We are looking for a diverse group of people with a passion for history and nature to lead tours around Flat Holm.

We intend for our half days tour guide training to give a taster of what is involved in becoming a volunteer tour
guide on Flat Holm Island. After training has taken place, you will be able to decide whether the role of volunteer
tour guide is for you.

Once you have committed to becoming a volunteer tour guide, there will be a training day
on the island where you will undertake training in the island’s points of interest, including geology, history,
heritage & nature as well as learn about health and safety in relation to guiding tours on the island. You will then
have the chance to shadow and be mentored by an experienced tour guide before running a tour of your own
when you are confident to do so.

Training Programme

We, Cardiff Council and the Flat Holm Society, will ensure that all tour guides are provided with appropriate health and safety training for the role, island history training and are also mentored by an experienced tour guide before running their own tour of the island.

A training session in an office


Workshop One: Professional Tour Guide Training with Griffin Guiding.

Learn the key professional skills required including:
• Good Communication
• Delivering Effective Commentary
• Using your Top Visual Priorities
• The technique of answering questions

This is also an opportunity to talk to existing tour guides and find out more about what is involved in being a tour
guide on Flat Holm.

Please note, some of the activities may take place outside, please ensure that you bring appropriate clothing for this.

Date: 6th April Time: 9.30-12.30. Location: Queen Alexandra House, Cargo Road, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff CF10 4LY.

People listening to a tour guide outside


Workshop Two: Island Familiarisation Visit

Following on from workshop one there will be a day visit to the island to familiarise new tour guides with the route, health and safety requirements and tour content. Date and time to be confirmed.


Tour Guide Mentoring

Following this you will have opportunities to shadow an existing tour guide and deliver a tour with support from an existing tour guide.

Once we are satisfied that you are confident and competent to run safe and high-quality tours for visitors you will be signed off to run tours independently.

What is involved?

Our normal visitor season runs from March-October. Landing on Flat Holm can only take place in the 3 hours prior to and up until high tide, therefore public visits will sometimes run-on consecutive days and at other times no public visits are able to take place. Tour guides should expect to commit approximately 5 hours per day of volunteering. The day usually begins with meeting the boat at Mermaid Quay and volunteers are expected to arrive early to greet visitors and answer any questions they may have about the island. Once on the island, a member of the island team will greet visitors and give a health and safety talk, after which the tour guide will lead those visitors who wish to take the tour around the island for approximately 2hrs. The tour guide will return the group to the visitor centre in the Barracks where they can buy drinks or snacks in the pub and the gift shop or make use of the outdoor space for picnics. The tour ends when the boat has returned to Cardiff Bay and passengers have disembarked. Tour guides will be asked to hand out simple questionnaires to their tour guide group and collect them once completed and tour guides themselves will be expected to fill in a simple form to say how many visitors attended and how the trip went after returning.

Happy people in a boat on the water


What is the commitment?

To be able to accompany groups of visitors to the island as a tour guide you must join the Flat Holm Society (£15 annual membership) this is because the society coordinate the rota for all island tour guides. The membership will not only enable you to visit the island free of charge as a tour guide (usual cost £32-£45 per visit) but will also enable you to participate, for free, in as many of the society’s volunteering residentials which you wish to take part in. The society also has a range of social and volunteer events that take place throughout the year on the mainland.

As part of the society, you can volunteer for as many tours as you wish, however, a firm commitment is expected once you confirm your attendance on a trip. Failure to attend may result in you not being booked for future trips (exceptional circumstances excluded). Tours are allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Happy people in a boat on the water

What skills are required?

  • We would like volunteers who are enthusiastic and passionate, and able to communicate history, heritage and
    nature in an engaging way to an audience.
  • We would like volunteers with a positive, inclusive attitude who are comfortable with public, speaking and
    interacting with people of all ages and abilities.
  • We require volunteers to be confident in taking on the leadership role of managing the group and to deal
    appropriately and professionally with any situations as they arise. Training will be provided on this.
  • We require volunteers to adhere to island warden instructions and to not enter areas or buildings that are not
  • We would like volunteers who are able to manage group health and safety; this includes ensuring the group listen to
    health and safety talks given by the island staff and making sure the public follow paths and avoid areas that they are
    not permitted to visit.
  • We require volunteers to be good timekeepers – ensuring visitors return to the on-island visitor centre at the
    Barracks in time to visit the shop or have their picnic.
  • Due to the nature of the island, we require volunteers to have good mobility and be willing to walk in various
    weather conditions (you will be responsible for sourcing your own appropriate weather clothing)
  • We require volunteers who are patient and understand the nature of the island; trips maybe cancelled at short
    notice due to the weather and there have been very rare instances when unforeseen circumstances have delayed a
    return trip from the island.
  • One of the main features of the island is the gull colony. During nesting season, the gulls are quite protective of their
    nests which can be quite alarming for some people. We require volunteers to be confident in their ability to deal with
    this, and to reassure any nervous visitors. We will show you how to conduct the tour to minimise any problems.


Leader details
Stephen Griffin

Wales Blue Badge Tourist Guide


Price : Free

April 6, 2024 9:30 am.

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