Living Southampton

50 Pledges

Southampton Solent University, on behalf of Southampton Connect, lead a public appeal for 50 pledges to improve Southampton and life in the city. The idea came from a challenge issued by Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) when he spoke at a Solent University event called Vision for 2020 held in October 2013.
A pledge was defined as ‘an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate Southampton’s 50th anniversary of city status by pledging to do something uniquely special to benefit the city.
    • 50 pledges

    50 pledges

Some of the Pledges

Southampton Airport worked with photography students at Southampton Solent University to create a wall of fifty iconic photos of Southampton to be displayed in the airport arrivals hall. The images give a warm welcome to visitors to the region and encourage them to spend more time in Southampton. 

Jan Halliday, Director of Marketing and Communications, Southampton Airport
View the stunning wall of fifty photographs

The Rose Road Association held a special summer picnic for local young people with disabilities and their families in July 2014 to celebrate 50 years of city status.
Tiffany Bryant, Fundraising Officer, The Rose Road Association

Urban Sketchers Southampton is a group of volunteers who want to encourage local people to celebrate the 50th anniversary through sketching ‘on location’ the people, places and buildings that make our city such an interesting and distinctive place to live and work. They want to encourage people to value what we like and love about our city and to celebrate its unique maritime ‘cityscape’.  They arrangeed a number of ‘sketchcrawls’ throughout the year, with the first taking place on 5 April 2014.
Kay Brown and Darren Shorter

West Quay Cars ‘branded’ a number of their taxis with the 50th anniversary logo. A fleet of cars joined the Mayor for a photo opportunity outside the Civic Offices on 24 February 2014 when he launched the anniversary year. 
Lee Haynes, West Quay Cars

Dancing Man Brewery at The Platform Tavern brew a special ale to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Southampton’s city status. As Southampton is an international port, the brewers decided to include ingredients from all continents of the world. There will be hops from Europe, America, Africa and Australasia plus spices from Asia and South America. The ale is brewed at 5.0% abv to mark the 50th anniversary.
Stewart Cross, Managing Director, Dancing Man Brewery

Southampton Festivals promoted 50 things for people to do for free (or under a fiver) that highlight our city, history, talent and community. The aim was to bring people’s attention to things we can treasure, things that don’t get much publicity and things to celebrate that make this a great city. 
Charlie Hislop, Director of Southampton Festivals

Councillor Ivan and Mrs Mary White pledged to provide a park bench type seat to be used by residents and visitors to Southampton. Alderman Ivy White, the mother of our current Mayor, served the city as a councillor for nearly 20 years and sadly passed away during the 50th anniversary year. The family said: ‘Our city is full of wonderful places to view and such a seat would provide an opportunity for individuals to appreciate an area of Southampton in a more comfortable way.’  
Councillor Ivan and Mrs Mary White 

The Business South Solent Sustainability Summit on 13 March 2014 focussed on educating businesses of the advantages and opportunities of building and maintaining a sustainable business. Practical tips from regional and national experts were provided to assist businesses in putting sustainability into practice, whilst maintaining profitability and growth. In keeping with the 50th anniversary theme, experts from the Sustainability Summit produced a list of 50 Top Sustainability Tips for Businesses.
Business South at the Solent Sustainability Summit

The Mayflower Theatre provided 50 local organisations with 10 free tickets to a variety of shows taking place at the Mayflower Theatre over the next six months. The aim was to help local people experience the wonder of live theatre.
Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive, Mayflower Theatre 

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce pledged to give free membership of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce for a year to the first fifty local business startups in 2014. Applicants were businesses who were in their first 18 months of trading and located in the SO14 to SO19 post code area.
Coral Benham, Membership Services Executive, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce 

Solent Business Growth Network pledged to provide 50 hours of free mentoring to an organisation to be used with 2014.
Simon Whitbread, Business Consultant, Solent Business Growth Network

Eric Robinson Solicitors celebrating their 50th anniversary and Southampton’s 50 years of city status with a different activity every month in 2014.  The events ranged from a 50 mile bike ride around the firm’s five offices to raise money for Wessex Heartbeat at Southampton General Hospital, a partnership event with Business South and competitions for clients and contacts of the firm. They also pledged to provide straightforward, easy to understand legal advice to all clients offering value for money.
Emma Henley, Marketing Executive, Eric Robinson Solicitors

Portswood Church organised a Community Fun Day on Saturday 28 June for the community to come together to enjoy lots of different activities. The event included games, crafts, inflatables, Bar-B-Q, live jazz music, a competition involving identifying well known and maybe not so well known parts of our city and an opportunity to look back over 50 years with a memory line made up of photos and special programmes, tickets etc brought together by the local community. There was also a children's competition involving Hamwick, the 'Love Southampton' bear on his journey around the City. The event celebrated the diversity of our city with a world map discovering where 'home' was prior to Southampton including different parts of the UK - a great picture with flags and coloured string. 50 elderly residents in a local care home were presented with gifts made by the children and a donation was made to SCRATCH from money raised on the day.
Angela Farmer, Children and Families Worker, Portswood Church  

The Nuffield Theatre pledged to commission a brand new theatre production which celebrates one of the city’s greatest assets – its football club and football fans. Nuffield pledged to design and erect a 50th anniversary pop-up theatre, Nuffield Playing Field, in which we will host a three week celebratory festival of theatre, music, film and dance, drawing together the city’s leading arts organisations under one banner.
Sam Hodges, Nuffield Theatre

Southampton Voluntary Services pledged to develop an ideas list of 50 fun ways to raise funds as a resource for local people and businesses to support charity and voluntary organisations in their work.
Jo Ash, Southampton Voluntary Service Chief Executive

Holyrood Estate Residents & Tenants Association pledged that they would arrange as many church bells as possible to ring across the city, all at once, for 50 times. The benefits: city to feel uplifted; the group seen as an inspiration to others; Many, many residents involved in giving their part (latterly their ears)  and all creeds had the chance of working together.
The Association is small and made up of volunteers tucked away at the bottom of town behind Debenhams.  We would like to prove that just a few Southampton caring people can bring some magic like this to their whole city and demonstrate that just a few people can make a difference if they have the heart to.