Last week I was granted the Mayflower grant by the Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship (NRMTS). I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to visit America in March to research the story of the Nottingham Pilgrims and their role within this incredible voyage across the Atlantic.
My application was based around the work I do as founder of Blue Kazoo: delivering unforgettable classroom experiences in primary schools. I wasn’t even aware of the scholarship until a friend of mine recommended that I gave it a look because he thought it would be a good match for the kind of work I did.
He was right.
Despite it’s complex context (over a hundred years of backstory), it is a very exciting journey with lots of twists and inspiring individuals at the centre. It summarises the inner angst of many European Christians of the seventeenth century. At a more local level, it reinforces this rebel reputation that echoes throughout Nottingham’s past. It’s a story of exploration into the unknown. A story of hope. A perfect school day of Geography, History, English, RE, PSHE and Drama all neatly packaged under one heading: The Mayflower Voyage.
My research begins in March when I fly to Boston. From there, I will be visiting American museums, schools and heritage sites to look at how they remember this story and how they share the story with others.
Once I am back in Nottingham, I will develop a role-play workshop to immerse primary school children in this unfamiliar part of history to help them understand the importance that this story had on the rest of the world. I then aim to produce a short video resource to discuss some of the deeper, and more ethical questions about human rights, democracy and immigration.