Liz Perrett | 4 July 2014
Not only is the world’s biggest cycle race about to get underway from beautiful Yorkshire, but QA is proud to tell of involvement in getting the Grand Depart off to a flying start.
Vive la France - Training 10,000 Tour Makers
QA is pleased to say 'we played a part'. The Grand Depart is on everyone's lips in Yorkshire at the moment. Not only is the world's biggest cycle race about to get underway from beautiful Yorkshire, but QA is proud to tell of involvement in getting the Grand Depart off to a flying start.
Adam Jones, our Regional Sales Manager in Leeds, was always determined to find a way for QA to support the TdFHUB2014LTD team in their work to make the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire and the South a triumph. Through his close connections within Leeds City Council, and their faith in QA's ability to work with large numbers of delegates, we were introduced to Ciara O'Grady, the member of the TdFHUB2014LTD team responsible for the Volunteer Tour Maker Training. The first exciting meeting took place at City Exchange on the 17th April.
Since that initial idea, QA has seen a whirlwind of activity with helping design the training material to facilitating the 10 training sessions held in Leeds and London. Many of our team have been involved in bringing this training to fruition.
In the words of our Learning Consultant, Sadie Harries - 'From the second that Adam secured the high profile contract, it was like a QA version of "Challenge Anika" right from the offset! In the space of just 5 whole weeks, we spent 1 day with the client scoping the project, 5 days designing the content, endless hours tweaking and re-tweaking things to integrate input from an ever expanding list of stakeholders, and then 9 very long days (8am - 8pm!) delivering the sessions, and I can honestly say, I have never experienced so much pleasure and pain during one project!
In the design stages, it was amazing to see how responsive the QA team were to pull in resources when last minute proofing and design work was needed to meet the huge (and ever tightening!) print run deadlines, and the complementary working patterns of myself and Liz Perrett (night owl and early riser respectively) meant that our 3am finishes and 5 am starts provided the client with a service that was pretty much 24/7!'
From Wayfinders to Flag Marshals to Route Marshals to Crossing Marshals and Crossing Marshal Supervisors, we have had the pleasure of working with them all - all 10,000 volunteers. We know that the whole Convoy will take 3 hours, there are 47 police motorcyclists, 6 ambulances, 10 emergency doctors and 180 vehicles - including a Broom Wagon! - in the Convoy. Perhaps we should mention that there will also be the Peloton of cyclists. There will be 12 million spectators along the route, over 3.5 billion viewers worldwide and finally - the 10,000 volunteers who QA helped to train!
Stage 1 on the 5 th July is Leeds, starting at The Headrow, to Harrogate (188km), Stage 2 on the 6 th July, starting at York Race Course, is York to Sheffield (199km) and Stage 3 is Cambridge to London (155km) - with the finish in The Mall. Our favourite features on the route are Cote de Buttertubs, Cote de Blubberhouses and Cote de Midhopestones!
Adam said, "What shone through in the first meeting was that all we would really need would be a highly energetic, vibrant and enthusiastic lead consultant and facilitators to deliver light hearted and fun sessions that would really drive out the personality of the tour volunteers, and leave them engaged and enthused about being involved in such an event." And that's exactly what we achieved.
We are enormously proud that QA has delivered this bespoke piece of work, and it just goes to show that learning is all around us and the opportunity for QA is everywhere if we just look hard enough.
It's been an honour and a privilege to be part of the biggest volunteer programme that has ever been used to deliver the Tour de France. EVER…ANYWHERE.
Everyone here at QA would like to wish all the competitors a safe tour and all the brilliant Tour Makers lots of luck in making the event a fabulous experience for the spectators!