The Gathering

by The Conscious Sisters CIC in Plymouth, United Kingdom

Total raised £39,311

raised so far



Help us create a large-scale community festival that celebrates the sea. Help Plymothians develop a deeper love for The Sound.

by The Conscious Sisters CIC in Plymouth, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 28th May 2022 we'd raised £33,680 with 64 supporters in 42 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

With the extra money, this will enable us to work with two additional communities, involving an extra 100 people, to connect to our special part of the coast.

Our Vision for The Project..

Our relationship with the sea is bro1646922851_sea_small.jpgken...Plymouth Sound has become the UK's first National Marine Park, but how connected are we with this incredible seascape?  The Gathering project plans to create a large-scale community event that celebrates the every day heritage of The Sound, its lost traditions.  An event that encourages us to care for this incredible space.  

This disconnect is crucial to address now in the light of climate change. 

To make this happen from July 2022 until June 2023 we will bring together people living in neighbourhoods which border the water and one neighbourhood in the suburbs.  Working with the best environmental, creative and heritage experts we will explore our relationship to the ocean and develop ideas for a brand new, grass-roots creative community event.

This event will celebrate our maritime and seascape history and bring us closer to the sea.  There is more to our city's history than The Pilgrim Fathers and the doctrine of discovery.  Plymouth has been a fishing and trading settlement since the Bronze Age.  We want to revisit lost traditions and forgotten stories.

By pledging, you will help us unlock vital additional funding.    


Our Illuminate Parade in 2017 was inspired by the sea. 

Who will we work with and how?

We will work with communities that live adjacent to The Sound and use our known and forgotten histories as inspiration.  Explore lost traditions and events. Through the production of community art commissions, which will become legacy projects for schools and communities alike, we'll explore what deepens our relationship with the water.  These community art commissions could be anything - fish skin lanterns, giant carnival props, pyrotechnics, fire, land art, costumes, rituals, synchronised swimming..anything.

This project will build on our ground-breaking Clan-Kind project. Clan-Kind helped over 800 people living in Plymouth develop a deeper connection between place & community by bringing together diverse groups to learn about the natural or built heritage in their neighbourhood.

These commissions will then be made into an exhibition to travel around the seaboard in spring 2023 to consult on a pilot event/spectacle for the people of Plymouth. Research we have done with local historians suggests that there would have been a sea or boat festival in pre-historic times giving thanks to the sea. We have the Fishing feast which surprisingly takes place at the source of Drakes Leat and involves trout..bringing this back to the sea, would help people connect to The Sound.  Our aim is to produce a pilot large-scale community event in the second half of 2023!

Who will benefit?

Together we will deliver a programme of arts and environmental workshops to at least 200 local people including children, local community and youth groups groups.  We will be recruiting groups in areas including  Whitleigh, Stonehouse and Devonport.

We will work with at least ten local Ar1646922698_product_small.jpgts/Environmental and Heritage practitioners including the marvellous Richard Fisher, Tess Wilmot and Gin Farrow-Jones. We will also be looking for new practitioners to work with.  Please get in touch if this project floats your boat.

In addition to the crucial work that we do with neighbourhood groups and providing rewarding experiences for our practitioners, our commissions will be collated into an exhibition to travel round the seaboard to be seen at least 20,000 residents.

We intend this project to benefit at least 20,210 local people in the first year. 

This will help us create a blue-print for a future large-scale event which will benefit the whole city!

How are we addressing Climate Change?

We will be delivering the following practical sessions to our communities as part of the wider project programme.  

  • Climate change 
  • The Sound's marine environment and its new status as a National Marine Park
  • Plastic pollution and the impact of single use plastics on the marine environment
  • Wild Swimming and the health benefits
  • Sustainable transport in Plymouth
  • Growing food 
  • Cooking and eating sustainable fish
  • Foraging  
  • Community orchards 
  • Green minds projects and taking action for wildlife
  • Beach cleaning   

We will sign post to local initiatives including Plastic Free Plymouth, Thrive and Food Plymouth.  

We are also embedding the project within the circular economy of waterfront neighbourhoods by employing local practitioners, artisans, craft people and supporting, adding value and signposting to other local organisations.  Our commissions will be produced by sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible.

Who we are?

The Conscious Sisters CIC is a socially engaged arts company based in Plymouth, UK which produces uniqu1646924112_ussmall.jpge art projects working with and for the community. Real-life sisters, Karen Evans and Fiona Evans love collaborative working with communities and specialise in work that explores identity, drawing from over 40 years of experience of inclusion and race work. As an organisation we aim to interrogate and raise the standard of community arts practice in the South West of the UK. Working in a non-pretentious and accessible way is key for The Conscious Sisters CIC which believes with a passion that art can transform lives. Recent Projects include,STTLMNT, Clan-Kind, The Respect Festival Parade and The Hatchling Parade with Nudge Community Builders.

The Conscious Sisters CiC- website

The Budget

  • Environmental, creative & heritage practitioners and project coordination £18,000
  • Materials (on the most part recycled but experimenting with process) £6000 
  • Workshop space £2500
  • Refreshments for workshop participants £500
  • Exhibition tech hire £1000
  • Exhibition printing £1500


The Barbican Plymouth, postcard images from Richard Fisher‘s collection


  • "The year Five Children at Manadon Vale have LOVED taking part in Clan- Kind. The Project has been engaging, informative, exciting and brilliantly organised. It was amazing to be able to continue throughout lockdown thanks to Karen. The children involved have gained so much by participating and have a broader view of Mayflower events. I will not hesitate to recommend The Conscious Sisters to colleagues across the city. Thank you”. Amy Ranjbar Lead - Primary History Hub for Plymouth Schools.
  • "We enjoyed using nature to learn more and connect through exploring our home. We learnt some really cool stuff, especially about how Plymouth foreshore probably looked through the ages, that was fascinating! Thoroughly enjoyed our walks with Richard, Tess and Paul. I'd have paid attention in school if I had people like that teaching me haha! I'm quite interested in history now and would love to discover more. Perfect people to introduce us to the topics. It was a really enriching way to connect with other familes too". 
  • "Being with a group of lovely adults and children & sharing time with some very engaging & knowledgeable guides."
  • "Learning a sense of belonging in the place we live in by being taught about it's history as well as it's state in the present, it's flora and fauna. We loved the hands on crafts as well, just as much, especially lantern making, as we have never done it before and it was bonding. We loved as well spending time with other local families and getting to know them. I was especially extremely grateful and astounded that a project of this length and quality was completely free, as I'm a single mum and can't afford many or any(!) courses
  •  I can only describe Clankind as a Unique and groundbreaking project and we are richer for having had this experience.


Select a reward

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£1 or more


If you can donate a quid or a couple we will give you a shout out on social media! We will also make sure you're kept posted on any project opportunities, including volunteering, free workshops and events. If you don't fancy problem.

£10 or more


Claim your awesome hand-printed The Gathering, canvas tote bag. Stylish and sustainable.

£15 or more


Walk the shore with Fiona Evans and learn the basics of taking a cracking photo.

£20 or more


Invitation to The Gathering Private View

£20 or more


Fabulous forage with our wonderful Tess Wilmot using creativity to learn about the plants on the seafront.

£50 or more


Join a zoom workshop and learn to cook a fish dish inspired by our ocean heritage.

£100 or more


Choose to attend four fabulous workshops over a year. Foraging, heritage, cooking, creative, photography and many more.

£1,000 or more


For every organisation that donates, we will have a half day that pampers up to 20 employees with a forage, meditation and fresh juice. Forget boring training, give your employees an opportunity to relax and connect to the natural rhythm's of life.

£5,000 or more


Businesses get their logo put onto all of our materials for the project as part of a promo package that will reach 1000’s of people through our networks. Plus we make project presentation at your AGM.

£35 or more


3 wonderful Into The Wild cossies are up for grabs from local artist Sarah Trotter Art (STArt). (low back, high leg rise and fit to show off your assets). Perfect for a dip in The Sound or a paddle board. Choose from 3 unique styles created from original hand painted artworks. Designs include Tulus The Turtle, Abstract Waves and Bala & Baja Rainbow Whales.

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