Volunteering as a Coventry 2021 City Host has helped a College worker in her career.
A learning support worker who has helped Coventry students for more than 20 years has praised a City of Culture programme after gaining newfound confidence in the workplace.
Candis Ibberson, Learning Resources Adviser at Coventry College, will celebrate her 21st year with the post-16 education provider this year, and has said that volunteering as a Coventry 2021 City Host has helped her to start a confident new chapter in her career.
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 her heritage.
While reconnecting with her Coventry heritage, Candis has also been able to tackle her anxiety and become more outgoing and self-assured, as well as drastically improve her public speaking skills, thanks to her time spent as a Coventry UK City of Culture City Host.
City Hosts perform a variety of roles across the region, including welcoming and supporting visitors and event spectators to navigate the city, and providing information on artworks, installations and public transport.
Candis said: “The experience has taken me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to show myself that I can be confident and outgoing, which has been incredible for my mental wellbeing.
“The difference that this has made to my work life has been massive, as I no longer shy away from stressful social situations. I have even taken on the responsibility of leading Learning Resource Centre inductions for staff and students and providing support within classrooms.
“I think our year as City of Culture has been fantastic so far, and it was a highlight to volunteer at some of the major events at the Assembly Festival Garden last year, as well as the Tile Hill Party on the Green, the Caribbean Reggae Fever event, the Starley Sportive and Coventry Glides.
“Being a City Host has been extremely rewarding. I have a more positive outlook on life and can deal with various situations much better. I’d urge anyone else who takes pride in Coventry to get involved.”
Gemma Knott, Vice Principal for Business Growth, Engagement and Partnerships at Coventry College, added: “Candis has shown a real commitment to supporting the young people of Coventry during her time at the college, and we are delighted to see that her experience as a City Host has allowed her to add another string to her bow to help our staff and students.
“Candis is an example of the college’s connection to the city’s heritage, and I’m sure she will continue to instil a sense of pride in Coventry in all students that come to study with us, whether they are from here or not, and use her passion for the city to drive the next generation.”
David Boughey, Head of City Host Volunteering and Managing Director at EnV, said:
“Candis has become a highly valued member of the team and we encourage others to sign up to be part of the remainder of the City of Culture year and beyond with many more highlights to experience.
“Candis and her experience as a City Host so far is a great example of the benefits that volunteering can provide. Becoming a City Host can provide greater social connections, an opportunity to support others, and to be part of a team while promoting Coventry. There are a range of other benefits too including training and development and social events.”
For more information about the City Hosts programme, visit the Coventry City of Culture website.