Shine a light on City Host Sue - Dusky Blue Skies

Shine a light on City Host Sue

Interview with City Host Sue from 4 February 2022, as part of the Shine a light blog series.

What’s your name and where are you from?

City Host Sue (S): My name is Sue Williams and I am a Coventry kid, being born here and living in Radford all my life.

Do you do any other volunteer work?

S: Before becoming a city host, I have volunteered for many years. I am Division Commissioner for Coventry North Girlguiding, and I run a Rainbow and Brownie unit. I am also heavily involved with my local church in my capacity as a churchwarden.

How did you become a city host, Sue?

S: I became a city host quite near the start of the year of culture. When I saw it advertised I felt that it was something that would appeal and be rewarding, giving something back to my home city. Unfortunately, Coventry so often gets bad press and people run it down, but it has so much to offer all ages because it is a very multi-cultural and welcoming city.

What do you enjoy about being a city host?

S: I have found the City Host role very enjoyable, especially meeting lots of people and being part of this wonderful City of Culture year. Not to mention the joy of being part of the wider team of wonderful city hosts – we are becoming like a special family.

City Host Sue wearing her City of Culture uniform and winter warmer Gloves, 5 February 2022

What’s been your favourite city of culture event, so far?

S: I have volunteered at many events and have enjoyed all of them for many different reasons. It is very hard to choose a favourite but some highlights have been the faith events, the party in the parks, Coventry glides, and the events in the wonderful festival gardens.

Have you encouraged anyone else to become a city host?

S: I have a couple of friends who are also city hosts. I haven’t directly encouraged others to become hosts, but I have advertised events to family and friends.

As a city host,  what sort questions do you get asked? regularly?

S: The thing I have been asked for most is directions, particularly where toilets are!

Have you been asked anything unusual or been told any interesting stories?

S: I haven’t been asked anything unusual but have heard stories/memories from visitors who used to live in Coventry or worked here. It has also been lovely seeing people come into some of our historic buildings like the old grammar school, undercroft and cathedral. I’ve been surprised how many visitors from far and wide are visiting Coventry.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?

S: It has been a joy and a privilege to be a city host and I am enjoying it.  We still have a few months left so am sure there will be many more events to get involved with and to continue putting Coventry on the map and showcasing what it has to offer.  I hope to continue volunteering in some way after this special year ends.  There is still time for others to come and sign up as city hosts.  I would highly recommend it, it is very enjoyable and in my opinion an honour to serve my home city.

Would you like to volunteer?

Applications to become a city host will be open until midday on 21st March 2022. So, if you fancy joining us for the last few months of final celebrations. Complete your city host application online now!

City Host Sue outside Coventry Cathedral, 5 February 2022

Or like Sue…

You could volunteer to become part of Girlguiding! You could help girls to realise their full potential and share some unforgettable moments along the way. There are volunteer positions with Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Rangers, Young Leaders, Leaders, Unit Helpers, Secretaries, Treasurers and many more. Register your interest to help make guiding happen.


Read more interviews from the shine a light on the city hosts series

Shine a light on City host, Rosie

“I enjoy getting to know new people and getting to know what events are happening. I love the opportunities to talk to people and learn about how things have changed over the years”.

City Host Tony
City Host Tony stood outside the Golden Cross in Coventry Cathedral Quarter

Shine a light on City Host Tony

“What’s not to like about being a City Host. It’s been an amazing experience, welcoming people to all the fabulous events which have taken place so far. Meeting other city hosts and management – making some great friendships along the way, which I’m sure will continue after the City of Culture ends.”

City host Regan

Interviewer and photographer for the Shine a light series.

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