Five film shorts released for Christmas to thank Southampton’s “brilliant” key workers

Five film shorts are being released this Christmas to thank the hard work of Southampton’s key workers and community heroes throughout the pandemic.

GO! Southampton, the city’s Business Improvement District (BID), commissioned City Eye to produce the videos – as part of Southampton’s Mayflower 400 Giving Thanks campaign – to capture some of the vital work the city’s key workers and volunteers have been carrying out across the community this year.

GO! Southampton Executive Director Giles Semper said: “It’s so important to recognise the contribution key workers and volunteers make to our community. Producing these videos showing a social worker, teacher and charity volunteers has been extremely satisfying. I’d also like to thank City Eye for their empathetic treatment – the videos are highly watchable and both touching and really inspiring.”

Susan Beckett, Executive Director at City Eye, has been documenting the lives of people in Southampton for almost 35 years. She said: “In this really challenging year for us all, it has been such a pleasure to work with GO! Southampton to create these short films which shine a light on some of the people and activities that have helped to make things better for those most in need.  The films are our way of saying thank you to them and to all of the generous and compassionate people supporting and caring for others in the city.”

Giving Thanks is a new campaign, funded by Southampton City Council, to create digital memories that bring the people of Southampton together in a shared celebration of our city and our communities. It is delivered as part of the on-going city-wide Mayflower 400 programme and aims to not just mark the anniversary, but to bring people together as best we can in these days of social isolation, through generating an understanding of difference and encouraging an attitude of gratitude.

The public are asked to share, through social media and using #MyGivingThanks, photos, images, videos, stories, poems of the things for which they are grateful; maybe that’s their pets, their parents, or their local park.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Southampton City Council Cabinet Member for Homes, Communities and Culture said: “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. We hope Southampton people from all ages and backgrounds get behind this campaign and show both the positive can-do spirit and the camaraderie and kindness of our great city.”

There are online activity packs available to help communities, families and businesses get involved. The scheme will be open until Valentine’s Day 2021 and is supported and funded by Southampton City Council, Arts Council England and the Barker-Mill Foundation.

Find out more about the campaign here.