Michael Bridgwater has lived in Efford since the 1970s, and has been engaged with the area since that time. He raised his son there and was committed to working with the neighbourhood to support the best to happen.
Sadly, Michael passed away on Tuesday 22nd November 2016, and we are forming The Michael Bridgwater Memorial Art Fund in his memory.
He loved Efford. He loved walking in Efford Valley, popping into the local library for reading groups, picking blackberries to make his jam, going down to the shops for a paper and milk, visiting the children and staff at High View School, of which he was a dedicated governer, involving himself in Time Bank (PL3) so he could spread his skills more widely with more people across the city. He firmly believed Efford was the very best place to live in Plymouth.
He founded Take A Part in 2006 with Efford residents (via Heart of Efford Community Partnership), Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Arts Centre and support and worked until his death as board member, tresurer and director for the organisation. He was instrumental within culture in Plymouth and was key to ensuring and championing community choice and voice in all the projects he supported. He not only supported Take A Part CIC dedicatedly, but supported local theatre projects and literature via his son, James. He supported wider culture in the city by popping up at various talks and events and asking pressing, pertinent and challenging questions. Michael was KEY to culture in Plymouth.
Efford loved him. We will miss him. We want to celebrate him and we want you to help us with that too. We are working to get a pot of funds together - The Michael Bridgwater Memorial Fund - to commission artists to work with residents in Efford from various groups and individuals to create a physical marker of his contributuion to the community - a memory bench, a statue perhaps. Whatever the community and artist come up with really. And we need your help to do this.
Ideally, we would like to work to make the Michael Bridgwater Memorial Fund a yearly affair, to be able to have funding in place for Efford residents to work with local contemporary artists to make work about Efford - its heritage, greenspace, opportunities and ambitions. We would like you to support us, in no matter how small a way. The funds will be managed by Take A Part CIC, High View School and Michael's son, James.
We also wanted to let you all know that we are holding a special memorial service to celebrate Michael's life and committment to Efford on Tuesday January 17th at 6pm at High View School's Space for Sports and Arts. We would love it if you could come and join us.
We would like to make sure that this project reaches as many people as possible, and you can help us to do that by sharing on social media like Facebook and Twitter, or personally recommending the project to friends, family and colleagues. Let's show everyone what Michael meant to us and to ensure his important contributions are celebrated far and wide.