What becoming a 2018 Exhibition Host has meant to me
When I was asked to describe what it means to have been a Host for the 2018 Koestler Arts exhibition at Southbank Centre, I thought about where I was at the start of the summer before I was hired for the role.
You see, my last job ended when I committed my offence. Since the completion of my trial I’d applied for around 1,400 jobs, with no success. I thought things would never change.
Then one day, I stumbled across a job to work for Koestler Arts as an Exhibition Host. The job application specified that they only wanted to hire ex-offenders for the position and I’d tried applying for everything else and so I thought I might as well give it a go. By some miracle I was selected to be a Host. Finally someone was giving me a job, it felt amazing!
To say I was nervous on the first day of training would be an understatement, but my initial trepidation soon subsided due to the warmth shown by everyone at Koestler Arts.
I was able to speak to the public about the artwork, drawing on my life experiences and those of the artists on show. It was truly moving to be able to make the public have an emotional connection with the artists and their artwork.
For so long, it felt like my life would not change, that I would never make my family or friends proud of me again, or that wider society would ever give me a second chance. Through working at Koestler Arts this has all changed, it has given me a second chance.
Finally my life is going in the right direction and everyone from Koestler Arts is responsible for that.