Sunderland's tourism superstar's delight as she is hailed a national winner for her Beamish Museum role
A woman who helps scores of visitors have the best day out has been championed as VisitEngland's national Superstar.
Emily Hope, who is a visitor welcome and retail team leader at the entrance to Beamish Museum, has been declared the winner of the title following a vote.
The former Southmoor Academy student, who started working at the County Durham attraction in 2015 as a as a partnerships assistant, is one of its Dementia Friends leaders and helps train up colleagues and volunteers, with more than 100 supported through the course so far.
The 25-year-old said she was overwhelmed by the response to the campaign by friends and family and was delighted to bring home the title to the North East.
She added: “From the bottom of my heart I just want to say a huge thank you to every person who supported and voted for me in the Tourism Superstar competition.
“You’ve got no idea what it means to me to have been crowned VisitEngland national Tourism Superstar, I’m absolutely over the moon.
“I really hope that we’ve raised awareness of the important work that Beamish does for people living with dementia and their families.
I hope that I’ve done Beamish, Durham and the whole of the North East proud by putting us firmly on the map and highlighting the fantastic tourism opportunities we have here in the region."
Emily, who usually dresses in Edwardian costume or an outfit which reflects events and celebrations on at the time. greets visitors and makes sure they have an amazing day out.
The museum says she is always there to help, being involved in everything from Suffragette marches, shovelling snow and rock and roll dancing to setting up a Dementia Café, directing
traffic and carving hundreds of Halloween pumpkins.
Rhiannon Hiles, deputy director of Beamish Museum, said: “Well, how proud are we of our very own Emily Hope becoming the VisitEngland Tourism Superstar.
“What an accolade for Emily, the museum and County Durham in becoming the nation’s Superstar.
“Emily welcomes thousands of visitors to the region every day at Beamish and we are so delighted that everyone chose to vote for her in what has been a close contest with other outstanding individuals from fantastic organisations around the UK.”
Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland director, added: “The tourism industry depends on great people and this competition is all about recognising and thanking those individuals with their passion whose enthusiasm engages visitors from around the world.
“Emily Hope is a deserving winner for this year’s title.
"She brings history to life and goes the extra mile for visitors she welcomes to Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, and as also exemplified by her dedicated work as a dementia friend and trainer.”