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Hello, my name is Emma Smith and I’m the new Community Engagement Officer for Hull Maritime, the major regeneration programme transforming some of Hull's maritime treasures.

I am very excited to be working as part of the Hull Maritime team as, growing up, I lived close to the Historic Dockyard in Chatham and enjoyed many days out exploring maritime history as a child. I particularly enjoyed being able to explore the three historic warships, finding that the opportunity to go onboard the historic ships really brought the history alive and sparked my imagination. Being part of the Hull Maritime project is therefore a great opportunity and I can’t wait to talk about Hull’s rich maritime history with lots of different people and celebrate the city’s historic sites and ships.

In my role as Community Engagement Officer, I will be working with a wide range of community groups to explore and celebrate Hull’s maritime history in creative and engaging ways. I look forward to hearing peoples’ memories about Hull’s maritime heritage and their stories about what our maritime city means to us today.

One of the first things I have done in my new job is to catch up with our Community Grant Fund projects. It’s been so inspiring to hear about all the work that they’ve put into their projects and to see the end results. The projects funded by this round have been really varied in theme and have engaged different community groups with Hull’s maritime heritage. The groups have also improved people’s wellbeing, bringing groups of people together to learn, create, exchange ideas, and make new friends. From murals, to podcasts, exhibitions to dance performances these projects have all helped to bring people together to celebrate Hull as a unique maritime city. A few of our Community Grant groups have written about their projects on our blog too, be sure to have a look!

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of people in my new role and working on other creative projects showcasing Hull’s maritime heritage in new and exciting ways. Storytelling and participation are really important to the project so make sure you keep checking our website and social media to hear all about what’s happening and for opportunities to get involved!

I’d like to end by sharing some images from a few of the community grants fund projects which I hope you will enjoy.

‘Sync or Swim’ a community dance project led by Hull based dance duo, Tamar & Jo. Image by Christopher Mcnally
Part of the ‘Fish!!’ photography exhibition exploring memories of change and Hull’s fishing industry in the 1970s, created by The People.
Closing ceremony of the Twelve Tribes of Yorkshire project which explored Afro-Caribbean maritime history in Hull.
Musicians Mambo Jambo and students from Ron Dearing UTC who produced a podcast featuring music and interviews exploring maritime history.