The smiling face of Laura Brown, Retail & Admissions Assistant, is one of the first things to greet visitors when they arrive at the Eden Project. She shares her favourite moments with us.
"Admissions has a vibrancy all of its own. There’s always a buzz of excitement and anticipation as our visitors get ready to enter into the site, having walked from the car parks past plants, pictures, artwork, rammed earth walls…. They’re the box holding the gift, which you get to open when you stand on the Lookout and see Eden laid out ahead of you. One of the best parts of my role is sending people through that door.
And you never know what you might be asked next! It's all about making it personal and appropriate. One of my most memorable moments at Eden was using the basic British Sign Language skills I’d recently learned on a course. It was a busy day at the tills and at one point the father signed to his family. Without thinking, I signed to the gentleman that I’d been learning sign language and knew a little. He was amazed and laughed, telling me his little girl was deaf and that they were also learning to sign. I signed asking her name and telling her mine, and had a simple conversation.
“She was thrilled that someone had been able to communicate with her in sign language”
Towards the end of the day the gentleman approached me to tell me how thrilled his daughter had been that someone that she didn’t know had been able to communicate with her – and that her pleasure in this fact had made everyone's visit very special.
It’s lovely to get to say goodbye to visitors as well as giving them that all-important welcome. Working in the Shop in the afternoon I get to ask them how their visit went and it's always interesting to hear what they remember most about what they’ve seen.
I also love to see what has caught their eye in the Shop. As well as plants and seeds, eco household products like washing up bars are getting really popular. It makes me hopeful about the future. What each one of us chooses to buy and do really does matter."