Volunteers at Shire Hall in Dorchester participated in a half-day customer care workshop managed by The Arts Development Company.

Jacky Thorne, culture and tourism lead at Shire Hall said: “They were so full of passion and ideas, you could feel the energy crackling in the room.

“Many arts and cultural organisations rely on willing volunteers to look after visitors

“Their keenness and wealth of knowledge are invaluable. The aim of this training is to bring out the very best in them.

Customer care specialist Caroline Cooper of Naturally Loyal ran the session.

Shire Hall is being transformed into a major heritage attraction and centre for learning, paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund and West Dorset District Council. It’s due to open to the public this spring.

Shire Hall was a centre of law, order and government for more than 200 years - a place where all sectors of society interacted.

The Tolpuddle Martyrs were tried here and the writer Thomas Hardy served as a magistrate at the court.

The Arts Development Company is holding a series of free customer care workshops as part of the Culture+ programme. These are taking place in cultural organisations across Dorset, including arts centres and museums. The aim is to enhance and develop key customer care skills for both employees, and volunteers.

Culture+ is a programme tailored for the arts and culture communities.

It offers extensive business training, advice and support as well as networking opportunities with the tourism and business industries throughout Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. The European Regional Development Fund and Arts Council England support it.