MORE THAN 1,500 people signed up to become a UK City of Culture City Host within 24 hours of the call-out going live.
Coventry City Culture of Trust in partnership with EnV and CUSU launched the drive to recruit more than 5,000 volunteers to be part of its City Hosts Programme at the end of February.
It led to 1,054 people signing up on the first day and that figure has since risen to 1,606.
City Hosts will perform a variety of roles in Coventry and Warwickshire, which include providing a friendly welcome and supporting audiences to navigate around the city.
They will be present at key transport hubs to provide an initial welcome and a farewell to visitors, while others will provide information on artworks and events.
It is the biggest and most ambitious project undertaken by EnV since it was established after 2012 as a volunteer legacy to support visitors to Coventry after the city was selected to host events during the London Olympic Games.
It has continued to manage, deliver, and support a range of events – from Royal visits through to community events – as well as training and volunteer programmes in Coventry and the surrounding area.
It also manages and sustains the award-winning Coventry Ambassador volunteer programme, which has provided more than 50,000 voluntary hours since 2012.
Having secured the contract following a competitive tendering process, EnV is working with Coventry University Students’ Union (CUSU) which is leading the recruitment campaign and training delivery for the City Hosts.
David Boughey, the founder and managing director of EnV, said: “We are delighted with the start that we’ve made in recruiting City Hosts, working with the Trust and CUSU. It shows the real appetite for local people to get involved with Coventry 2021.
“Since 2012, we have been guided by our vision of benefitting the people of the city by providing quality events, training, and volunteers in the community, by the community, for the community.
“That very much aligns with the way Coventry City of Culture Trust is working with communities to deliver UK City of Culture.”
Not only will City Hosts be celebrated for contributing to the success of the year, they will also receive training to enhance their skills, access to discounts through a City of Culture Loyalty Scheme and the chance to widen their social circle and make new friends.
The City Hosts programme is completely flexible for those who want to get involved from all across the UK, with the option to commit to supporting as little as three events between May 2021 and May 2022 or the opportunity to volunteer for more if they want to.
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: “We called on the people of Coventry and Warwickshire to put themselves forward as City Hosts and to have more than 1,000 people come forward on the first day was incredible.
“We are really moving towards our year now and City Hosts are going to play a big part in making it the success that we all want it to be.” To sign up to be a City Host, go to www.coventry2021.co.uk/cityhosts
Or, for those who don’t have internet access, they can contact the City of Culture hotline on 02476 998221 and choose ‘option 6’ for City Hosts.