Blue Badge Tourist Guide

Guiding has been a big part of my life since the summer of 2008, this was the year I started working for one of the open top bus tours and began to realise this could be the stepping stone to a career which would bring me much happiness. I have always had a love for history and mixing this with storytelling and the organisational aspect of guiding, I knew I had found the ladder I wanted to climb.

There are multiple stages to guiding and after working for various bus, walking and service tour companies I was able to save enough to money to apply for Blue Badge training course; a step on the ladder which meant the most to me. The excitement of being accepted onto the course was beyond words, I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be in life and couldn’t wait to start.

Emily Dell

The course was genuinely one of the best things I have ever experienced, it was also the toughest! I had just started dating someone and that very quickly had to become priority no2 (I’m pleased to say it didn’t put him off and were still very much holding hands) as did my social life, but I knew how important passing the exams were and to do that I had to be fully present and take every lecture seriously. Within those two years I met so many incredible people, such as my peers, course leaders and lecturers who taught me so much in the way of storytelling, delivery and organisational skills.

Whenever someone tells me they’re thinking about doing the course, I never hesitate to say “don’t think, just do”. Becoming a Blue Badge Guide really allows you to be your own boss, carve out your own timetable, pick and choose the jobs that are right for you and be part of a supportive organisation who has your best interests at heart.

Becoming a mother of two little ones has been one of my biggest challenges; juggling motherhood with a career that requires a lot of energy is not without its bumps. However, I am so thankful for the badge as it allows me to work around a schedule that fits in with my family and my love for guiding.

Emily Dell, London Blue Badge Tourist Guide.

Emily Dell