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David joined the team at Venture in early 2017 as an Event Steward, working at Salisbury Racecourse and other seasonal events.
For David, meeting people is the best thing about his job.
I moved to Salisbury from Cheshire a few years ago, to be closer to family. I’d previously run my own roofing firm for 45 years and when I closed the business, I decided retirement wasn’t for me.
We live near the racecourse and I noticed that Venture provided the event stewarding and security services, so I decided to approach them about taking on a part time role. From the moment I first spoke to Jenny and the team, I had a good feeling. Having been an employer myself, I know that being a good ‘fit’ is important – more so than having all the qualifications in the world. There was a great vibe about the place, and I knew it would be somewhere I would enjoy working.
I arrive at the racecourse for a 9am start and the day begins with a detailed briefing from the Events Manager. This is followed by a meeting with the Day Supervisor, who goes through anything extra that is needed and allocates responsibilities for the day. We then get down to the job in hand.
I will head to the car park to work with the team of stewards, ensuring the smooth arrival and exit of racecourse visitors and their vehicles. It can be very busy with hundreds of cars arriving at once, so we will rotate where we are stationed to ensure full concentration is maintained.
We get paid breaks, with food and refreshments provided for lunch for free by Venture. The shifts themselves vary in length, depending on the event.
As an Event Steward, we are there to help the event operations runs smoothly. I am responsible for making sure everyone coming to the racecourse, arrives and exits safely, and that all vehicles are parked well.
We are also the first point of contact for visitors, so providing a positive customer experience is also an essential part of the job. We need to meet and greet people politely, while being smart and professional in appearance at all times.
Extreme weather conditions can be difficult. However, Venture looks after everybody and always steps in to support the wellbeing of team members. They’ll give out bottles of water and even provide sun cream and hats when needed, or ponchos or umbrellas if it’s wet.
The job can be intense, with hundreds of cars coming at you at a fast pace, but I enjoy the challenge.
Training is provided on an ongoing basis and at every race meeting. I’ve had training in the past on health and safety and through other jobs, but at Venture you’re always learning something new. It isn’t just a box ticking exercise. In today’s world things can happen quickly, so it’s important to always be learning and enhancing skills.
Without doubt it is meeting people. I love getting out and about. I also enjoy being outdoors. Working with Venture is a far less pressurised environment than my former career and I really enjoy it. Going in is never a chore, I look forward to my shifts.
They are absolutely excellent and really do look after their staff, whether you’re a steward or a security operative your welfare is paramount. The head office team is always professional and methodical, and everything is logged correctly. I am always paid on time too.
You need to be responsible and polite. You’ve also got to be able to think on your feet. If something happens, you will always have the backup of the team behind you but it’s important to be able to react quickly, to prevent any potential situations from escalating.
You need to be observant and to keep your eyes open, to be good with people and have strong communication skills. When it gets very busy, you also need to be able to stay calm. And of course, teamwork is a huge thing and part of the culture embedded at Venture.
I would have no hesitation in recommending Venture as a company to work for. They’re an up and coming, growing company and offer some fantastic opportunities, including for career progression and climbing the ladder.