13 community groups sparked by Mayflower 400 funding

Dec 17, 2018

Thirteen community groups have been given a funding boost thanks to the Mayflower 400 Community Sparks fund in Plymouth.

A new apple for the anniversary year, a town crier and a huge gathering of Morris Men are among the groups and projects to receive a bursary in the first round of the Community Sparks funding.

The scheme supports grass-roots community, arts and cultural activity with small bursaries of up to £3,000 – or £5,000 in exceptional circumstances.

Funding is available for projects that can be delivered by November 2020 – particularly those with a link to the Mayflower 400 themes of imagination, humanity, freedom and futures.

People are now being invited to apply for the second round of grants.

The first round included: 

  • A grant of £4,000 has been awarded to North Prospect Community Choir to produce a new 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. 
  • £4,000 goes to Low Profile for a living artwork called ‘You Have Arrived’. The large-scale horticultural message will be realised in plants and flowers and will become a new landmark for Stonehouse/Millbay.
  • £4,000 goes to the Joyce’s Quilt Women’s Group for a unique quilting project called ‘Pilgrim Mothers – A New World’. The project will be launched on International Women’s Day in 2019 and will work with women’s groups around the city. Participants will design and sew squares that explore how life could have been different if women had taken the lead instead of the Pilgrim Fathers when they landed on the shores of Massachusetts.
  • £3,000 will finance The Mayflower Morris Muster in 2020, which will see a dozen Morris sides from across the UK, the Netherlands and the US dancing at various venues in Plymouth to celebrate the history and diversity of this unique style of dance.
  • Plymouth Cruise Ship Volunteers have received £3,000 to give the Welcome Caravan at Millbay Docks a much-needed makeover. Funds will also be used to buy uniforms for the volunteers and banners to create a vibrant and exciting first glimpse of the city on arrival.
  • A bursary of £3,000 will enable Stoke Traders and Residents Association to run kite workshops at the 2019 and 2020 Stoke Village Fun Day. When the kites are finished community members will write their hopes and dreams on them. These will then form part of a Mayflower procession through Stoke Village and up to the Blockhouse where they will fly their kites sending their dreams into the skies. 
  • Age UK Plymouth has linked up with a care home called Cozy Corner 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, discuss ideas and create a community that is strengthened by the Mayflower celebrations. The project will be supported with a bursary of £2,938. Royal Adelaide Art & Yoga CIC has secured £2,900 to run the Mayflower Postcard Exchange and Exhibition, which will invite local people and individuals in the USA to send postcards to RAAY for a unique cultural exhibition. There are 30 towns and cities named after Plymouth across the United States and the residents will be encouraged to share life in their Plymouth through the art of postcard writing.
  • £2,318 will bring the popular tea dances organised by Lady Astor bang up to date. All Nations Ministries will host an inter-generational and cross-cultural tea dance with a difference on the Hoe in 2020. Popular dances to Swing and Big Band music will be complemented by African, Filipino and Thai dance displays. This special event aims to break down barriers between different cultural groups.
  • £2,150 has been awarded to Hoe residents Penny Tarrant and Debbie Jones, supported by the Hoe Neighbourhood Forum, to run a competition to find a new Town Crier. The competition will be open to anybody residing in Plymouth and will be held in the city centre for everyone’s entertainment. The successful Town Crier will promote all the exciting activities happening for Mayflower 400.
  • A new variety of apple named the ‘Pilgrim 400’ will be brought to the city by the Plymouth Tree Partnership. This commemorative tree produces a medium sized fruit, round in shape and of a rosy appearance and is most suitable for cooking. A bursary of £1,750 will help the partnership provide low cost apple trees and a certificate of authenticity to schools and civic groups in Plymouth.
  • Plymouth Zine Library will receive £1,500 to run workshops across the city to teach people the art of zine production. Zines are self-created, self-published small magazines which come in a variety of formats from comics, to collage to Illustration. In the workshops, Plymothians of all ages which will explore how they feel about Mayflower 400. The larger zine will be produced and will be free at different venues across the city.
  • Finally, the Minster Church of St Andrew has been given £1,500 to run a programme of events including a flower and quilt exhibition to commemorate Mayflower 2020. The church will also host an exhibition of children’s art and creative writing.

Councillor Peter Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council said:


“This is an initiative that will really give community groups the chance to make their mark during our Mayflower commemorations. I’m looking forward to seeing and experiencing the end results of all thirteen, as well as the other projects that will get the green light in future funding rounds.”

What projects can be funded?

We want to make sure everyone in Plymouth has the chance to participate in the commemoration. You may be thinking about organising a themed street party, community mural or an inter-generational tea dance and that’s where ‘Mayflower 400 Community Sparks’ comes in.

The fund supports grass-roots community, arts and cultural activity in the city through a series of bursaries of up to £3,000, or £5,000 in exceptional circumstances.

Funding is available for projects that can be delivered by November 2020, that inspire and enrich local communities and which align with the Mayflower themes of imagination, humanity, freedom and future. We’re now looking for applicants for the second round of funding which is now open.

The deadline for applications is January 31, 2019. 

More information and an application form can be downloaded here

Mayflower 400 Community Sparks is a partnership project between The Box, Plymouth, Mayflower 400, Plymouth Culture, Plymouth City Council and Vital Sparks.

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