Museums + Heritage Awards 2014 – Award winners Rayleigh Windmill

Winner in the Customer Service category

Owned and managed by Rochford District Council, the day to day running of Rayleigh Windmill is carried out by a team of approximately 50 volunteers. Ensuring that visitors have the very best experience they can, they ensure that each floor is fully staffed with knowledgeable and friendly volunteers, passionate about the Windmill and about delivering excellent customer service.

The work that the volunteers do at the windmill is, Rochford Council believes, crucial in making Rochford a thriving district, as well as having a positive impact on the community as a whole. Suggestions and ideas from the volunteers on how the windmill can be improved as a visitor experience are creative and innovative; the team have developed a history briefing for all of the Council’s corporate volunteers, they have written scripts for each floor of the mill and have developed their own guided tours.

A booklet for visitors to read and take away with them provides a good demonstration of how this particular group go above and beyond to ensure that people’s experience at the mill is enjoyable; written and researched by one volunteer, another has created a hand drawn internal diagram of the windmill.

As well as achieving VAQAS status from Visit England four years in a row, the Museum has been awarded Accreditation status by the Arts Council. The windmill volunteers have been the key to achieving these awards and were highly praised in the reports. Giving their time and support means that the Windmill continues to be open to the public, attracting ever increasing visitor numbers

Winning the Customer Service award was a fitting tribute. Rochford District Council’s Head of Community Services, Jeremy Bourne saidWe are very proud that Rayleigh Windmill has won the Award for Customer Service. Given the quality of the entries from across the Country we are thrilled to walk away with such a prestigious award. The award is thanks to the work of the Council’s Leisure Team and in particular the many volunteers that give so much of their time to provide such dedicated service to the local Community”.