Candis has lived in the city for 46 years and is passionate about the history of Coventry. With family members who worked at the Standard Triumph Motor Factory and on the restoration of the roof of St Mary’s Guildhall, the city is part of Candis’ heritage. Here, she tells us why she decided to volunteer as a City Host and how she’s found her experience so far.
What inspired you to sign up to be a City Host?
As a child at school, I was bullied virtually every day. Over the years, this knocked my confidence out of me. Being a City Host has enabled me to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I wouldn’t normally do. I’ve suffered with Chronic Pain since 2014, as well as anxiety and depression which came about during lockdown, and I am so glad to be out meeting new people as a City Host.
What have you gained from your experience as a City Host so far?
6 months ago, I lacked confidence, happiness and self-belief. Now, I can honestly say I feel so much better in my own skin. Being a City Host has given me so much confidence, new skills, experiences, happiness and a whole bunch of new friends. Working with a variety of City Hosts you learn something new every shift, so I’ve learnt things about the city that I didn’t know before. I feel so privileged to show our city off and put Coventry back on the map.
My experience being a City Host has helped me in my work too. I work in the Learning Resource Centre for a College and can now do talks to groups that I didn’t have the confidence to do before.
Being a City Host has been great for my mental wellbeing and my self-confidence. This experience has changed me for the better and I’m proud of who I have become.
What would you say to anyone thinking about becoming a City Host?
Wear a smile on your face no matter the weather. Welcome everyone with an open heart and just enjoy the experience – it’s the best thing you will ever do. One who makes a difference by welcoming, caring and helping others enjoys the best of a place they call home.