Geoff Rose, a volunteer at Shaldon Wildlife Trust, has reached the finals of Visit England’s Tourism Superstar.

He joins nine others in the running for this prestigious award. He is one of the few volunteers up for nomination but also the only representative from the south coast of England.

Geoff joined the team at the zoo based in Shaldon, Devon, back in July 2020 and since then has gone on to assist the charity with a wide range of activities.

Not only does he volunteer one day a week, he has helped with Santa’s grotto by playing the Big Red man himself, created signs around the zoo and driven a coach for a fundraising trip.

His efforts don’t go unnoticed with numerous online reviews mentioning him by name for his knowledge, humour and excellent customer service.

Geoff said in regards to reaching the final of the awards: ‘I did not start volunteering at the zoo for any personal gain, but it feels great to have my efforts recognised.

‘The best part about being shortlisted for the award is the publicity that the zoo will receive. The more people who know about the work that the zoo does, the better chance the animals will have to survive and thrive in the future.”

Zak Showell, director of Shaldon Wildlife Trust said: 'It’s so heartening to see one of our volunteers getting industry level recognition for their hard work and dedication. Geoff’s attitude to get stuck in and help us out is always appreciated and he is instrumental in ensuring Shaldon Wildlife Trust visitors have the best time they can.'

Organised by national tourist board Visit England and supported by The Mirror, the Tourism Superstar competition recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry.

The competition invites members of the public to visit to watch a short film created for each of the ten finalists and then to vote for their favourite. Voting closes on 20th March 2023.