Pillar of the community

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Sue Arrowhead (centre) is seen during the handover of the donated First bus for the homeless

Sue Arrowsmith, External Business Relationship Manager at First West of England, talks to Jade Smith about her involvement in the community engagement side of the business

Sue joined First Bus eight years ago as a self-employed salesperson in Wales, before she came to Bristol and took over the West of England area as well.

She picked up the story: “I moved from going to small businesses to larger ones and was responsible for introducing the corporate travel scheme, where commuters get a discount on bus travel. From that I started to develop relationships with stakeholders and other people I came across.

“My current role, External Business Relationship Manager, is a new position. I enjoy helping people and establishing where the business can help the community. This role is all about exploring innovative ways that we can immerse First West of England within the community.”

Community groups

“It is great to be able to help small communities,” Sue said. “We want to be embedded in our local communities as a company. First’s buses stand out in Bristol so we want to ensure our image is a positive one.”

Sue also manages First’s travel shops in the West of England – one in Bristol bus station Bath and Wells. There is a local manager in Bristol that oversees them and Sue supervises him. Currently Sue is working on various projects such as looking at refurbishing bus stations and improving services like the café to make it a nicer area to wait for a bus.[…]

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