Volunteering and Community

The Mayflower’s story is grounded in values of community and giving, from the welcome the Pilgrims received in Leiden and Plymouth through to the generosity of the Wampanoag in helping the Mayflower’s passengers survive their first winter in the US.

Today, the partnership formed across the UK, US and Netherlands to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s journey demonstrates the ongoing ability of this story to promote positive connections between different people. Mayflower 400 will further continue this legacy through a major volunteer programme, providing opportunities for individuals and organisations to contribute to their local spaces and heritage, build relationships and develop their skills.

The following regions are now recruiting volunteers

Plymouth – Our Plymouth, the single point of access to find out about so much of what is going on in Plymouth, is managing the Mayflower 400 volunteering programme.

Mayflower Makers - Plymouth

We’re aiming to train at least 400 Mayflower Makers in Plymouth to contribute 100,000 volunteer hours between now and the end of 2020. Makers will be our Ambassadors, raising awareness and helping others to participate in Mayflower 400, as well as supporting events and wider activity to help make sure everyone has a great experience of Plymouth.

Our "Introduction to being a Mayflower Maker Volunteer" sessions will give you a great insight into our Mayflower 400 commemorations that run from November 2019 to November 2020. For more information and how to sign up visit https://ourplymouth.co.uk/about and email Neil.Minion@plymouth.gov.uk to register your interest.

Over 200 people have attended the Mayflower Maker introductory session, with courses running on a monthly basis. The Mayflower Makers kit, which each volunteer will receive, is sponsored by Plymouth Citybus.

Citybus Managing Director Richard Stevens said: "Plymouth Citybus believes in being a good community partner. We are delighted to sign up to sponsor the Mayflower 400 volunteers as this will enable even more worthwhile events to be supported in our community during 2020, helping to elevate Plymouth to the international stage’."

Pilgrim Roots (Austerfield, North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire) - please email Sandra Withington at Sandra.withington@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Mayflower 400 Community Sparks Fund

The Mayflower 400 Community Sparks Fund gives individuals and grass-roots organisations in Plymouth the opportunity to access funding to help them do something special for their community for 2020. Grants are available from £1 to £3,000. Projects can be big or small, and the application process is really simple. We’re happy to talk through any ideas you might have before you start your application. The first round of funding closed in October, with £36,000 allocated to 13 projects. Examples include:

Age UK Plymouth has linked up with Cozy Corner, a care home in Plymouth Massachusetts, to develop an exciting art project for older people called Friends Across The Sea. This transatlantic project will be run in collaboration with By Design Collective and will use written correspondence, digital platforms creative art, theatre and music as a tool to communicate

Royal Adelaide Art & Yoga CIC are running the Mayflower Postcard Exchange and Exhibition, which will invite local people and individuals in the USA to send postcards to Plymouth for a unique cultural exhibition

North Prospect Community Choir are producing a new celebratory choral work exploring the theme, Sounds of the Ocean City. This funding will give the choir the opportunity to work with composer Adrian Hull to produce new music for their adult choir and Mayflower Community Academy’s children’s chorus

Plymouth Morris Men are organising an international Morris Muster, using funding to help attract dancers from across the UK, the Netherlands and the US

To apply visit the Sparks website or email fiona.evans@plymouth.gov.uk

How can you get involved as a volunteer?

Each partner has a range of unique and exciting opportunities available for volunteers to get involved in Mayflower projects. For further information about the opportunities available in your area, please choose the relevant link from the options listed on the right of this page.

The activities you may find you can volunteer for include:

  • The development, installation and maintenance of Mayflower trails, which will join together local sites with a link to the Mayflower story
  • Supporting heritage activities, for example by providing guided tours or information for visitors
  • Contributing to enhancing public spaces to make sure they look great for 2020 and beyond
  • Organising and supporting Mayflower events

Who are we looking for?

We need volunteers with a range of skills to make 2020 a success. You might be a professional who can contribute to or lead complex tasks, someone who is looking to develop new skills, or simply have some time you’re able to spare to contribute to your community. Whatever your position, we’ll make sure that we find a rewarding opportunity for you to get involved in.

We’re also looking for people from across the community, reflecting the diversity embedded in the Mayflower’s story. Specific opportunities will be available for young people and people with disabilities to contribute in each area.

The time you’ll need to commit will depend on the activity you sign up for. But reliability is key. Because we’ve placed volunteers at the heart of delivering Mayflower 400, we need to be able to count on you to make sure it’s a success.

We are also interested in hearing from businesses and other organisations who might be able to contribute time or resources to the commemoration.

If a volunteer opportunity involves contact with young people, vulnerable adults or sensitive information we might need you to complete a DBS check and collect references. A criminal record will not automatically prevent you from volunteering. All applications will be assessed on a case by case basis, with consideration given to the opportunity you’re interested in.

What will I get out of it?

By volunteering with Mayflower 400, you’ll be joining a community of people who are passionate about heritage and their local area – it’s a great way to get out and make friends. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to some amazing projects that will make a major difference to your community for years to come, while bringing forward the unique heritage of the area you live in.

We’re keen to develop the skills of our volunteers by providing opportunities to get experience of heritage and cultural projects, and through training opportunities associated with particular voluntary activities. For example, many locations will be running sessions to train local ‘welcomers’ and guides. Contact your local team for further information.

Volunteers who are able to commit consistently through to and during 2020 will receive a special memento recognising their contribution. There will also be a range of volunteer celebration events across the country reflecting the pivotal role that you’ll take in the delivery of an internationally significant commemoration.

Businesses and other organisations that make an ongoing commitment to Mayflower 400 will be eligible to use our internationally promoted ‘Spirit of Mayflower’ branding to demonstrate their contribution. Alongside this, your work will be recognised through our national newsletter and in local communications activity.

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