Creative Lives Awards

Celebrating the achievements of community-led creative groups

The Creative Lives Awards celebrate the creative groups that enhance people's lives in villages, towns, and cities across the UK and Ireland. Since 2010, we've invited community-led groups to share their activities and achievements, so that we can give you a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.  

Our Awards winners all use creativity to bring people together. Groups might take part in singing, dancing, painting, crafting, performing, playing music, or any other creative activity. All of them provide vital opportunities for people to find community, express their creativity, make friends, learn new skills, boost their wellbeing - and have fun together!

Judging panels in each of the five nations choose a Winner and Runner-up. We ask the public to vote for a People's Choice Award, and the shortlisted groups vote for each other to win the Peer Award for Excellence. We also select a Celebrating Diversity Award winner from the shortlisted groups, and a Local Hero from the location the Awards ceremony is held in.

The 2024 Creative Lives Awards will open for nominations on Monday 11 March. Further information will be available on this page after nominations open.


A Celebration of Humanity

Want to learn more? You can read in depth about the amazing work of some of our Creative Lives Awards winners below, or check out a list of our recent winners here.

This year, the Celebrating Diversity Award Winner saw Newport-based friendship group Coffee ’n’ Laughs commended for offering an open and inclusive space for women ‘of all faiths and none’ to come together. During the pandemic, activity was rolled out over WhatsApp and Zoom, with sessions designed to help vulnerable members feel empowered and connected over an isolated period.

On winning the award, Sue Lewis from Coffee ’N’ Laughs said:

"Coffee ’n’ Laughs is a great gang, and we couldn't have spent lockdown with a better set of friends. We natter, knit and stitch, and didn't miss a beat when we were suddenly locked down. We enjoyed twice weekly Zooms where we discussed and tackled hard subjects, as well as bringing craft, poetry and photography workshops to the group. It was a case of fabulous friends, at a time of isolation."

About the group

Their first activity was making rag rugs with women who had 'no recourse to public funds', engaging them in conversational English, and the group has expanded to include a diverse range of activities.

Coffee

During the pandemic, the group of women, mostly 60+, met twice weekly on Zoom, and through a WhatsApp group. These sessions combined creative activities with speakers and topics designed particularly to help vulnerable members, including hate crime, dementia and diabetes. The creative activities included arts and crafts such as weaving, photography and poetry.

The group has been a vital support and a boost to self-esteem for the women, some of whom were newly widowed or had members of their family die due to the pandemic, and for some who were experiencing mental and physical illness.

Marilyn Priday from Coffee ’N’ Laughs said:

"The women find it very easy to open up to one another and we have great friendships. At the same time, we have continued with our craftwork and learnt new skills." 

Learn more about Coffee 'n' Laughs


Learn more about the winners and runners-up of the Creative Lives Awards 2021