What makes all the hard work worth it? We hear from some of our readers about what makes their job so rewarding.

Sharron & Geoff Cox, Yateley and District U3A: 

“It’s really nice when everything goes well on a trip. For some of our members the breaks that we organise are the only holidays they get. We’ve got to know a lot of people through it too.”

Sharon & Geoff Cox's group at Berkeley Castle

Sharron & Geoff’s group at Berkeley Castle.

Penny Hodgson, Shamley Green Gardening Club / Shamley Green Village Care:

“I just like being with people – it’s lovely to share gardening with them too. Everybody looks after each other.”

Vanessa Hurdle

Vanessa has been a GTO for more than 13 years.

Vanessa Hurdle, Reading Borough Council Staff Club: 

“It’s nice to bring people together outside of work, whether it be for a theatre trip or a flower show, especially when everyone works so hard. The trips give people a chance to relax as well as seeing their colleagues in a different light. It has meant everyone can get to know each other better and become more social outside of work.”

Bob Walker, Mancass:

”I get the satisfaction of everybody enjoying it but also I enjoy travelling and always have. I like doing things. It’s in my nature. As an organiser you’ve got to be like that. I sort of fell into it but it’s just me.”

Jackie Ames, Unity 70:

“It is a lovely feeling when you know everybody is enjoying it, they’re all having a good time, a laugh and a joke together, it’s brilliant. I know all the folks get a lot out of it, but you don’t just do it for that. We’ve been doing it for years and we are just a really big group of friends; as far as I’m concerned, we’re just mates who go on holiday and on days out together.”

Unity 70

Jackie’s group, Unity 70, is a social club for people with disabilities, and their friends and families.

Lizzie Cawdell, Heybridge U3A:

“I love the organising and bringing a trip to fruition, from the initial idea to the moment we get home. The icing on the cake is seeing everybody get off the coach at the end of the day with big smiles on their faces.”

Maureen Tidbury

Maureen’s group has about 200 members.

Maureen Tidbury, M and G Holidays:

“I’m a people person and I just love everybody in my group; I’m very lucky that I get on with everyone. I like meeting lovely people; I’m never bored. It’s like having a massive group of friends.”

Michael Milner, British Rail Staff Railway Society:

“The most rewarding part of my role as GTO is when the members thank you for your efforts. It’s not always the easiest, so to feel appreciated, like you’ve done a good job in providing a nice trip, is always a great feeling.”

Monica Sado, NHS Retirement Fellowship – Brent Branch

“With the retirement fellowship meet ups, you’re seeing people that you worked with so there is that friendship aspect too. It’s a nice opportunity to catch up with the people that you used to work with and a lot of people enjoy that.” 

Calling all group travel organisers…

Interested in sharing your experience with readers? Every month we interview a GTO to find out about their role, the sort of trips they organise and their top travel tips. You can read the latest interview here and get in touch with the team on 01908 613323, or via email at editorial@groupleisureandtravel.com if you’d like to be involved.