THE ORGANISERS of the Shetland leg of next summer’s Tall Ships Races have this week launched a community-wide effort to recruit more than 150 volunteers.
Shetland Tall Ships Ltd. are looking for around 90 liaison officers to act as the islands’ representatives for international visiting crews and to ensure the ships receive the warmest possible welcome.
A further 70-plus volunteers are also sought to cover event information points, help out at park-and-ride sites, offer general marshalling, assist visiting musicians and artistes and support Sail Training International’s team.
Every ship in the fleet will have at least one liaison officer, with the larger Class A vessels being provided with two, for the four-day event in Lerwick from 26-29 July 2023.
The time commitment required will vary depending on the role. Liaison officers will be required for the duration of the event, while there are roles to suit individuals who may only have a single day to devote to the cause.
Emma Miller of Shetland Tall Ships Ltd. said several people who had been liaison officers for the races’ previous visits to Lerwick in 1999 and 2011 have already been in touch.
“We’ve had multiple enquiries from people who were liaison officers last time, and they want to do it again because they think it’s such an amazing experience,” she said.
“Shetland is known the world over for offering a friendly and hospitable welcome. Liaison officers will play a crucial role in both upholding that reputation, ensuring the ships and the crew know where things are, and how to access activities and supplies.
“We’re looking for folk who are confident, good with people and have an overall knowledge of Shetland. We’re not necessarily seeking somebody that’s got lots of specific ship knowledge – we’ll have deputy chief liaison officers who will have a more specialist role.”
The deputy chief liaison officers, working in a team headed by retired police officer Martyn Brill, will be based in Liaison Headquarters situated near the event site and on hand to assist the team with technical enquiries and general support.
“It’s an excellent way to get involved in the event and a great opportunity to meet folk and make new friends,” Ms Miller added. “It’s also so important to our ability to deliver a safe and well-organised four days – the volunteers coming forward and giving their time really makes the event what it is.”
Ms Miller added that local industry body Seafood Shetland has kindly stepped forward to sponsor the liaison officers’ kit – including t-shirts, backpacks, caps and fleeces – ensuring the volunteers will be easily recognisable during the event.
Ruth Henderson of Seafood Shetland said: “From managing the Tall Ships Races Lerwick event in 1999, I understand the very important role that liaison officers play.
“The 1999 team went above and beyond the call of duty, contributing in no small way to the overall success of the event. As a result, I am delighted that Seafood Shetland will be supporting the volunteers in 2023 by sponsoring their kit.”
The recruitment drive for volunteers was launched today [Monday 3 October]. Applications for liaison officer roles are open until 4 November, after which there will be follow-up interviews, and applications for other volunteer roles will be accepted up until 13 January.
- Anyone interested in finding out more about the voluntary roles available for the Tall Ships Races Lerwick 2023 can visit www.tallshipslerwick.com, email email@example.com or phone (01595) 502110.