There was no shortage of volunteers for a “thank-you” picnic at Coventry’s War Memorial Park.
The event was staged by No Ordinary Hospitality Management (NOHM) – which operates the three food outlets at the park – to thank all the EnV volunteers after a packed 12 months of helping out at a string of major events in the city.
The volunteer programme was started for the 2012 Olympics to welcome games-goers to the city and has since turned into a movement which has won two Queen’s Awards and helped advise Tokyo ahead of the 2020 Olympics.
The programme, which has been organised through community interest company EnV since 2014, has supported the UK City of Culture celebrations, Commonwealth Games, International Children’s Games and a series of other events in the last year, and now has 1,500 overall volunteers.
As a thank you for their efforts, they were treated to a morning out in the park, complete with a free range of sweet treats from the Sundae Club dessert diner which NOHM opened earlier this summer.
David Boughey, founder and Managing Director of EnV, said: “It has been such a busy year for our city – and we still have a few major events to go. The volunteers have played a major part in making these huge events run smoothly and representing their city and county in a positive way.
“They get really well received for the work they do, and it was so kind of No Ordinary Hospitality Management to treat them on a rare day off. The sundaes certainly went down really well, and I think a few of them will be back in the future!”
UK City of Culture, Commonwealth Games and International Children’s Games events has led to the delivery of over 41,000 volunteer hours, and that will rise with volunteers on duty at upcoming events including MotoFest and the Godiva Festival.
Richard Harrison, Managing Director of No Ordinary Hospitality Management, said: “The EnV volunteers are a real credit to the city. Coventry has been really successful in attracting major events in recent years, but the volunteers bring an added advantage.
“Not only are they extremely welcoming, they have a vast range of knowledge on the events they are supporting and also the city in general. It is no surprise that others across the world are copying the Coventry model.
“I also chair the Visitor Experience Group for Destination Coventry and the volunteers contribute massively to the experience of visitors to our city.
“They give a lot, and we just thought it would be nice to give a bit back – on one of their days off! They seemed to really enjoy the Sundae Club, and many of them said they would be back again.”
NOHM operates the Bistro in the War Memorial Park – which offers breakfast, afternoon teas, lunches and a full supper menu – along with the Sundae Club and also Park Gelato ice cream. It also manages and operates Coombe Abbey Hotel and commercial venues in Coombe Abbey Park, as well as St Mary’s Guildhall in the city centre.
Pat Garner, Linda Nagle, Richard Harrison, David Boughey, Andrew Boneham, Ecaterina Cobzaru