Mayflower 400 Southampton

Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks is our campaign to create digital memories that bring the people of Southampton together in a shared celebration of our city and our communities. During this difficult time, it’s more important than ever to celebrate and share the important things that make a difference to our lives every day, however small.

The Finale artwork

Our Giving Thanks campaign ran between Thanksgiving, November 2020 and Valentine’s, February 2021. It was designed to create digital memories that bring the people of Southampton together in a shared celebration of our city and communities, over 300 people of all ages joined in through social media channels and online interviews. Thanks to funding from Arts Council England and the Barker-Mill Foundation, artists Shared Space and Light have produced this new digital artwork which pulls the community-generated content together. This online show tells the story of our city and its people at this unique moment in time using motion graphics and 3D animation.


What is Giving Thanks?

We want to encourage you to share with us what you give thanks for, on a day-to-day basis, and how you give thanks. Take to social media and using the hashtag #MyGivingThanks share photos, images, videos, stories, poems of the things for which you are grateful; maybe that’s your pets, your parents, or your local park. 

Give Thanks this Valentine’s Day

Why not use Valentine’s Day to send a message of thanks to someone who has made a difference to you this year. It could be your significant other (as is traditional) but it could also be your friend or a family member, a colleague or team mate. Who would you like to send your thanks to?

Download one of our templates below and share the love with #MyGivingThanks this Valentine’s Day.

Paralympian Aaron Phipps’ Giving Thanks Film

Inspirational Southampton Paralympian Aaron Phipps shares what he’s thankful for in his Giving Thanks film. Check out how easy it is to participate in this project and if you’re feeling inspired let us know what you’re thankful for by sharing your images, videos poems or stories on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn with the hashtag #MyGivingThanks.

Win exciting guest speaker

If you are a teacher, student or pupil in a Southampton school or college you can win a chance for Aaron to give you all an online talk. Just share what you’re grateful for on social media – using an image, video, poem or story – and tag or name your school/college in your #MyGivingThanks post for a chance to enter a prize draw. There are lots of ideas for creating Giving Thanks content in our packs further down this webpage, including great home schooling activities for all ages!

Wampanoag Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks launches on 26th November, America’s Thanksgiving. Below, our Native American partners share with us their opinion on the traditional holiday; offering insight as to why giving thanks is so important to their culture. 

Miles Bernadett-Peters, representative of the Mashpee Wampanoag people says: “To follow the meaning of Thanksgiving is to be thankful, to be respectful, to be caring to other people, to be giving. Not just to you and your own, not just to you and your family, but to strangers, to homeless people, to people who have nothing, people who are just trying to survive. That’s what the indigenous people did for the people who came across the seas on the ships.”

You can watch here: 

Ways to get involved

In the spirit of regularly giving thanks, with partners across the city, and funded by Barker-Mill Foundation, we have been preparing our own Giving Thanks programme. This was supposed to be a big get-together moment, a time for picnics, street parties, coffee mornings etc.. Unfortunately, this has not proved viable at any time this year. However, we still felt it was important, perhaps even more important, that we took a moment to acknowledge the things for which we are grateful.

What are you thankful for? Let us know by taking to social media and using the hashtag #MyGivingThanks share photos, images, videos, stories, poems of the things for which you are grateful. 

Need more inspiration? Check out some of our idea packs below. 

Further Opportunities

We really want local charities and grassroots community organisations get involved in Giving Thanks. As such, we have created some special opportunities in partnership with Southampton Voluntary Services specifically for those groups. Local community groups can access free social media training with Our Version Media CIC. You can also nominate a local charity you are personally thankful for – they could get a small donation as a result! 

Giving Thanks will run until 14 February 2021, so there’s plenty of time to join in. As we go along, we will post up a selection of ‘thanks’ on our website and social media channels.

The Final Piece

We are thrilled that Shared Space and Light have been appointed to lead the artistic culmination of the Giving Thanks project. They will create content with communities and use photos and videos submitted by you to create an online animated artwork which brings everyone together in our increasingly virtual world. The final piece will be premiered here in Spring 2021.

Shared Space and Light are artists who strongly believe in the power of video projection to transform public spaces and bring people together. Collaboration is central to what they do, they have worked alongside a diverse range of communities as well as pyrotechnicians, musicians, set designers and theatre companies.

Shared Space and Light said “This a great opportunity to work together and create a memorable celebration for Southampton”

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