A stitch in time
Thursday 26 July 2012
More than 200 Coventry residents have got an extra-special reason to look forward to the Godiva Carnival event this weekend.
As the excitement builds across the city, people living in Wood End, Radford, Willenhall and Ernesford Grange will be eagerly waiting for a first look at the costumes they helped to create.
For the last three years the Council's Neighbourhood Action team has been working with local people and Imagineer to encourage and support local young people and families to work together to create costumes for the Godiva carnival.
Twelve people - three residents from each neighbourhood - were also given the opportunity to attend a 14 week art training course at Imagineer's workshop. Here they learnt the skills they needed to secure six weeks employment with Imagineer. They even led their own community Mas Camps - creating costumes, hats and props for the event. They were the only non-professionally qualified people involved in creating the amazing costumes that will bring the procession to life at the weekend.
Young people from Ernesford Grange youth club also attended the training and went on to help younger children at their Mas Camp. This experience was added to their individual CVs.
Councillor Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Action, Housing, Leisure and Culture, said; "I am delighted that so many local people have had the opportunity to be involved in the fantastic Godiva Awakes project. Godiva is set to go on an extraordinary journey and some of the many volunteers have been on a personal journey too. They have learnt new skills and been inspired to believe that they can make a difference in their own community too - with many going on to set up groups in their own neighbourhoods.
"I'm really proud of the young people too. They will feel fantastic pride as the carnival goes by and, of course, they can add volunteering to their CV.
"The next few weeks are set to be really special for Coventry but for these volunteers it will be even more special. I hope they, and everyone else, enjoy it all - it will be something to remember forever."
Neighbourhood Action has worked with the people involved in the project, encouraging them to take part and as a result local people have grown in confidence. One of the volunteers was Tracy Rowly from Wood End, who has been involved over the last five years.
She said: "I have loved being involved in this amazing project. I have had a great time, met some wonderful friends and learnt some new skills. I feel I have been part of something this city will remember forever - but more than that it has also helped me to believe in myself and I am sure it has boosted my confidence. Now I feel ready to go out there and show what I have got to give."