Mayflower Theatre and Theatrical Lydia launches food bank drive to mark Come From Away arriving in Southampton – Pay It Forward Campaign

To mark Come From Away arriving to Southampton from 16 – 20 April, Mayflower Theatre has joined up with Theatrical Lydia for her Pay It Forward 9/11 Campaign to run a food bank drive.

At the heart of Come From Away is a story about compassion, community, and resilience. Sharing the incredible real-life story of 7,000 stranded air passengers and the people who welcomed them into their lives with open arms and hearts, giving all that they had.

Mayflower Theatre and Theatrical Lydia are asking people who will be attending the show during its weeklong run to bring an item of non-perishable food or pet food to the theatre where they will be able to donate this to Feed the Community Foodbank in Southampton.

Theatrical Lydia is following the Come From Away tour all around the UK after first discovering the show in December 2019. It is here that Lydia met Laura Townsend, another firm supporter of the show who saw the show over 150 times worldwide. Laura decided that she was going to travel alongside the tour, carrying out ‘Pay It Forward’ actions in each tour stop. Unfortunately, Laura fell ill last year, and sadly passed away a short time after in June, meaning that she sadly never saw the tour come to fruition. Lydia then decided in honour of her friend that she would then be the one to tour the UK and ‘Pay It Forward’ in as many locations as possible. After noticing Lydia online, Mayflower Theatre reached out keen to help out with the ‘Pay It Forwards’ and this is where the food bank drive idea came to life.

Pay It Forward 9/11 is a global initiative that was set up by the real-life Kevin Tuerff – a real ‘Come From Away’ who features in the show itself. The global initiative aims to spread kindness as a way to honour the Newfoundlanders who inspired the production’s heartwarming true story.

Michael Ockwell, Chief Executive of Mayflower Theatre says ‘We are delighted to be able to get involved with ‘Pay It Forward’ alongside Theatrical Lydia to celebrate the wonderful show that is Come From Away. We know that audiences have real potential to make a difference in our community and we look forward to seeing how much food is donated.’

Lydia Greatrix of Theatrical Lydia says ‘I’m super excited to be working with Mayflower Theatre whilst Come From Away is in town, to spread the show’s important message of kindness and community. Theatre isn’t just a fun night out, it can really make a difference in the world, and I can’t wait to help make a difference in Southampton. I hope the people of Southampton will open their hearts, and their cupboards, to help those less fortunate and help the Feed The Community foodbank.’

Kevin Tuerff, President and Founder of Pay It Forward 9/11 says ‘The goal of Pay It Forward 9/11 was set on the first anniversary of the attacks in 2002. Each year, we honor the lives lost in the attacks by doing good deeds for strangers. This month’s kindness event with Mayflower Theatre and Pay It Forward ambassador Lydia Greatrix is a perfect opportunity for everyone to remember the 67 citizens of the UK who perished at the World Trade Center. Kindness will always defeat terror.’

Victoria Ugwoeme, Manager of Feed the Community Foodbank says ‘Our cause is to create a bond that glues communities together through food, to help improve creativity and well-being. Building a wider sense of community spirit for all. We are so happy that Mayflower Theatre and Lydia have decided to work with us on this and will hopefully see lots of donations from the audiences of Come From Away.’

Come From Away runs at Mayflower Theatre from 16 – 20 April 2024 and tickets are available from or 02380 711811.

To find out more about Pay It Forward 9/11 please visit:
To find out more about Theatrical Lydia’s mission please visit her Instagram:

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