Mayflower 400 Southampton

Community Heritage Grants Programme 

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Southampton City Council, Mayflower 400 have been able to award £60,000 of grant funding to 22 local community groups to deliver their own projects. These projects will allow communities to tell their stories, give ‘hidden histories’ a platform to be explored and allow new voices to be heard in Southampton. The projects explore a wide range of heritage stories; the details of which can be seen below. 

Bantaba4Change appointed Dr Cheryl Butler to produce a feasibility study for an online Migration Museum for Southampton.  They have gathered a large amount of material on Black History and migrations from c1500 till the 20th century. They also partnered with God’s House Tower to set up a Hidden Histories Research Panel and supported the development of a Hidden History Trail. Through TUVAA they have successfully bid for £8K grant to produce a book on early black history. All of the above provide future content for a digital museum. They have worked with experienced digital museum developers who have run through various options for how content could be presented.

Black History Month South

Southampton Home from Home 

Black History Month South has produced a short film looking at migration through the eyes of 5 people from different corners of the globe, that have made Southampton their home.

Each telling their story of their early life in their homeland, the experience of arriving in Southampton and how they have maintained links to their cultural heritage while making Southampton their home of choice.

Watch the film here


Virtual Mayflower Holiday

Caraway worked with older people in the community and in care to create the experience of a ‘Virtual Holiday at Home’. Based around the themes of freedom and exploration. The Mayflower Holiday took place on Tuesday 10 November 2020.

Read more about the day

City Eye have been making films from their archives available on their website. As they uncover relevant films they will be uploaded to the community archive page of their website and they hope to hold further screenings and discussions exploring diversity in archive film. This project’s focus on the BAME community provided a clear starting point into their vast archive, as well as igniting significant conversations that will continue.

Cloudz Kidz

Heritage Hunt

Cloudz Kidz CIC led a project which explored heritage in BAME communities around Newtown, St. Marys and Northam area. The project encouraged the youth of these communities to rediscover and search their rich and valuable heritage. This project supplied 3 weeks of activities for 100 children aged 7 – 12 in December 2020.

Read more about the Heritage Hunt




Mayflower Theatre hosted a Heritage Open Day event in September 2020, featuring: tours of the Grade II listed building, a Mayflower heritage exhibition from Southampton Heritage Federation and film screenings made in response to the M400 workshops that the theatre ran in July ‘20. The 170 audience members enjoyed the heritage focus of the tour and the exhibition. Watch the films here

Muslim Council of Southampton have produced a digital and hard copy pamphlet in accessible language, using attractive illustrations to engage young people and communities in understanding the role of Muslim seafarers in merchant shipping in Southampton, and the presence of Muslim seafarer graves in Southampton Old Cemetery. The pamphlet was launched online with a British Muslim history talk with historian and tour guide AbdulMaalik Tailor, which sold out its 100-person capacity.

MHA Communities – Live at Home

Quilting with elderly residents

MHA worked with the elderly community to explore their heritage through the design of a collaborative quilt. The quilt celebrates the diverse background and history of the participants and is a physical representation of places, people, events, objects that have been important in their history.

Read more about the quilting project

Northam Social Club led sewing workshops and participants created different types of clothing using traditional fabrics that reflect their diverse cultures and traditions. The pieces depict their migrant stories and demonstrate the diversity and the beauty of retaining traditions. Watch the video here

The Polygon School

Art Mural

Polygon encouraged the participation of all boys in exploring their experience of Southampton, a mural was spray painted as a timeline, drawing inspiration from Southampton’s heritage and contemporary/historical street art.

Find out more about the mural

Sarah Siddons Fan Club Theatre Company

Virtual Mayflower Performance

An online documentary style performance, which focuses on the human stories relating to the time the pilgrims were in Southampton. The stories of the townspeople reflect on their interactions with the Americas, Native Americans, their part in facilitating migration and colonisation.

See full details of the project


UK Shaolin Temple

Chinese Culture Workshops

Chinese culture classes and tutorials that teach calligraphy, paper craft and cooking. Watch the videos here. 

Shaolin Talks

A series of talks exploring various stories relevant to the Chinese community and life in Southampton in 2020. Watch the videos here. 

Southampton Festivals

History of Hip-Hop

project which highlights all the breakdancers, graffiti artists, rappers and DJ’s who helped create the local Hip Hop scene and build it over the years. 

The organisers are looking for members of the public who have memories to share specifically about Hip hop/ breakdancing events taking place in Southampton from 1980’s onwards. Photos, videos, event flyers, or oral recollections are all welcome!

Visit their website to find out more

South Hampshire Reform Jewish Community

Migration Trail

This pamphlet and the walking tour are to introduce you to the rich history of Southampton’s migrant past. This walking tour will make ‘the invisible, visible’ so that the migrant contribution can be fully appreciated – not only for those who live here but also to visitors to Southampton.

Southampton, past and present, is a place of movement and settlement. This tour is designed to show that its dynamism is built on migration.

Access the walking tour

Theatre for Life CIC


Theatre for Life CIC has teamed up with Southampton Children’s Hospital, Solent Mind and Southampton City Council Cultural Services in a cross-community film project titled ‘Emerge’.

‘Emerge’ is a devised performance, humanising stories of communities dealing with hidden disability and mental health, connecting with audiences through stories of hope and resilience. Theatre for Life youth company explored stories respectfully and with authenticity using verbatim theatre to capture this time period accurately. The project aims to supports patient empowerment, self-esteem and resilience.

Find out more about ‘Emerge’

The United Voices of African Associations led a heritage project for children of West African descent who wanted to learn Igbo, Mandinka and Wolof languages and dances to connect better with their cultures and identity. The project attracted many young people between 8 and 18 years of age. 9 children learn Mandinka, 10 learnt Wolof and 14 learnt Igbo language and dance for 14 days. These young people built strong friendships and developed a community that will go beyond this project. TUVAA continue to engage teaching children in these languages and plan to apply for more funding to further develop the language and the dance skills of these children. Watch the video here

Zimbabwe Roots Association

King Mzilikazi Story 

A virtual re-enactment of the journey taken by King Mzilikazi (Ndebele King)’s two emissaries, in 1889 who travelled by sea from Cape Town, docking at Southampton Docks, before checking in at the London Hotel in Oxford Street, Southampton, then boarding a train to London the following day, to meet with Queen Victoria.

Find out more about the performance

Upcoming Projects

More details soon:

Sal Chitulu, as part of Black History Month

Young African Oral Histories

A much-needed platform will be created for young black people to have a voice and share their experiences within Southampton and beyond. The project will take place during October.


SoCo Music Project

Young Migrants Music

This project will enable young migrant communities in Southampton to come together and explore their rich and diverse backgrounds through music.


Umoja Na Upendo

African Bridal Traditions

An intergenerational project focused on the different African customs of a bride leaving her community to join her groom.


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