Calling all University of Southampton Humanities students!volunteer

Are you interested in helping the local community? Developing your employability and research skills and building evidence of your abilities for the future?

Then join the ‘Swaythling in the Great War’ community research project!

The research project is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and aims to build up a base of knowledge and information on the role of the Swaythling area of Southampton during the First World War. Swaythling was the site of the country’s largest Remount Depot, readying horses for transfer to the Front. It was also host to a US Naval Air Base, assembling and repairing aircraft for the Northern Bombing Group. However, relatively little is known about these important activities, and even less about the impact they had on the local populace.

The project will establish a knowledge exchange programme, utilising expertise from Eastleigh Borough Council and The Royal Victoria Country Park to train Southampton students as ‘heritage volunteers’; students to train local residents in digital research skills; and residents to help academics explore how local history is interpreted and understood. Outcomes will include an accessible digital timeline, co-created and co-delivered workshops, and events as part of the ‘Great War, Unknown War’ programme. The project builds on successful activity undertaken during 2015/16 under the heading of ‘Community History Learning Project’ and funded through the University’s Public Engagement with Research (PERu) scheme

If you volunteer for this project you will have the opportunity to share your academic knowledge and transferable skills with members of the local community, while simultaneously gaining evidence of your communication, team working, project management, social awareness, and research skills. And that’s just for starters! Being a part of this programme will help you to understand the social and academic advantages of working in partnership to bring local history to life.

The project has three key areas of exploration which you can get involved with:

  1. the role that Swaythling’s Remount Depot and US Naval Airfield played in the First World War, placing them within the wider context of the passage of the conflict;
  2. the effect of the First World War on the people of Swaythling, considering the different roles they played, including those in employment at the Remount Depot and US Naval Airfield sites, and those who went away to fight;
  3. the significance of Swaythling to the war effort

Want to get involved? Email our Project Team with:

  • Your name;
  • Your degree programme;
  • Your year of study, and;
  • The area you are interested in contributing to.

Interested but not sure what you can contribute, or how to get started? Don’t worry! Contact us with any questions or requests for more information.