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Community projects

Indian Army exhibition 2023

In September 2023, a new display will be at Hampton Court Palace about the soldiers who were part of the Indian Army camps at the palace, invited to England to celebrate various occasions in the early 20th century including coronations and the end of World War One.

We worked closely with communities to shape this exhibition, supporting them to share their stories and objects as part of the display.

Learn more about Indian Army Encampments at Hampton Court Palace in 1919.

The Indian Army at the Palace exhibition
Photograph of Standing with Giants installation at Hampton Court Palace in the East Front Gardens, depicting artwork featuring silhouettes of two World War soldiers. A wreath of poppies is positioned between them.
A child sitting on its parent's shoulders reaches out to touch a sunflower as they walk under an arch made of bamboo, whilst another child takes a photograph with a phone as part of the Superbloom Communities celebration day, Summer 2022.

Superbloom Communities

The Superbloom communities project supported 100 local community groups to ‘grow along with us’, brightening London as Superbloom flowers grew in window boxes, pots on patios and raised beds across the city. We provided online support and resources to make growing easy and fun.

Superbloom proved incredibly popular with local communities - nearly five times the number of local community members visiting from June – September 2022, comparable to the same period in 2019.

We participated in two community festivals to generate awareness and interest in Superbloom, encouraging a further 1,600 people to start thinking about how they can support biodiversity and pollinators.

We delivered a deep engagement project, onsite and offsite for six different groups across London: Spring Community Hub, Bromley by Bow Centre, Step Forward, Gingerbread, Harrow Club, Hounslow African and Asian Youth Association.

Through a series of four workshops, families and young people explored themes reflected in Superbloom: biodiversity, pollinators, wellbeing, and creativity. All the groups came together for a celebration event at the Tower of London in July. 

Superbloom Communities

Platinum Jubilee Community Celebration, Kensington Palace

HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee was a truly historic event. At Kensington Palace, we collaborated with and commissioned seven community partners to develop and deliver fun, festive and dynamic entertainment at our Platinum Jubilee Community Celebration which took place on Sunday 5 June 2022. Our community partners who delivered activities include:

  • Colourful Community: Rangoli Pattern Making
  • Industry in the Streets x BMTstories
  • The Royal Parks: Help Nature Thrive
  • Nova New Opportunities: School of Humanity
  • Stitches in Time: Bunting Making
  • Step Forward: Drag Queen or King for the Day
  • London: Jubilee Garden Scavenger Hunt

We invited our network of nearly 300 Community Access Scheme leaders and their groups to join the celebration, which embraced themes of community, unity, friendship. Whilst aimed at local communities, everyone was welcome to join the fun on the day. We estimate that over 500 people attended the celebration event.

This event was supported by Turning Point's Innovation Fund.

Two children wearing paper crowns sit on the Kensington Palace drive, listening to an adult and playing a game using chalk and cut out circles. More groups of children are seen in the background playing this game.
A large "Henry VII" scarecrow with a white and red tunic stands in profile with grey skies in the background.

Scarecrow Parade, Hillsborough Castle and Gardens

Our fabulous scarecrow parade returned for its second year in 2022. Throughout October and November the Walled Garden was vividly brought to life with 24 scarecrows on the theme of ‘Kings, Queens and Rulers’. A broad interpretation of the theme saw a wide range of figures recreated in scarecrow form - everyone from Elvis to Queen Victoria, Freddie Mercury to King Kong, Henry VIII to Blu Hydrangea, Hillsborough’s very own international drag queen and star of Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Community partners were welcomed onsite to hands-on creative workshops in our Clore Learning Centre with local artist Shauna McGowan. School workshops were held offsite and were led by artists Kelsey Carroll and Sue Cathcart. Our facilitating artists also created their own scarecrows to add to the throng, along with two scarecrows from our wonderful garden volunteers. The project was a real Hillsborough team effort with over 400 participants in total.

Participant groups included:
RNIB
Live Life Wellbeing Centre
Action Mental Health
The Thursday Club
Killicomaine Jubilee Club
Walk Aghalee
Beechlawn School (Hillsborough)
Carryduff PS
Lisburn Central PS
St Aloysius PS
Abercorn PS
Belfast Royal Academy

We hope the Scarecrow Parade will be back for 2023!

George III: The Man Behind the Myth

George III grew up at Kew Palace and it was where he was treated during periods of mental ill health. Over 200 years since his death, his illness is often treated as a joke, perpetuating societal stigma surrounding mental ill health.

‘George III: The Mind Behind the Myth’ aimed to challenge the way people think, talk, and feel about mental health by reflecting on historic narratives and contemporary personal stories. We collaborated with people with lived experience of mental ill health to produce written interpretation for historic objects and a contemporary display of personal objects and stories.

The exhibition lives on in this series of films. Five lenders were interviewed about their object, the story behind it and their perspectives on mental health. Please be advised that these films contain themes around sexual abuse and suicide.

George III: The Mind Behind The Myth exhibition legacy Behind the scenes of Mind Behind the Myth with Daniel Regan
Group of men sitting in the gardens
Community group exploring objects with HRP Curator, Polly Putnam, in the store at Hampton Court Palace as part of the community engagement project for the Victoria: Woman and Crown 2019 exhibition at Kensington Palace.

Victoria: Woman and Crown

To mark the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, this exhibition at Kensington Palace explored Victoria’s private life, her role as a wife, mother, and Empress of India. The Communities team used participatory practice to present a nuanced account of Queen Victoria. The team worked collaboratively with members of the local South Asian community to respond creatively to key themes and objects featured within the exhibition. This allowed for diverse voices and perspectives in the exhibition narrative and resulted in content being created and embedded throughout the final exhibition.

A multi-generational group of South Asian women created a series of object labels in the form of ghazals, a form of South Asian poetry. 

Victoria: Woman and Crown Blog: The Empress of India, a community engagement programme

EXPLORE WHAT'S ON

  • Tours and talks

Community Access Scheme

Explore the Tower of London for free with your local community or adult learning group.

  • Daily (Monday - Sunday)
  • Tower of London
  • Free (advance booking required)
Learn More
  • Tours and talks

Community Access Scheme

Explore Hampton Court Palace for free with your local community or adult learning group.

  • Wednesday - Friday
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Free (advance booking required)
Learn more
  • Tours and talks

Community Access Scheme

Explore Kensington Palace for free with your local community or adult learning group.

  • Dates TBC
  • Kensington Palace
  • Free (advance booking required)
Learn more