Awards

The Creative Lives Awards - formerly the Epic Awards - are an annual celebration of the achievements of voluntary and community-led creativity.

Each year, we invite creative groups across the UK and Ireland to share their achievements with us, so we can give you a well-deserved moment in the spotlight.

If your group did something really special between September 2021 and September 2022, and voluntary participants played a key role in both planning and delivery, then fill out the online application form here or download a Word version here

To learn more about the Awards, watch our ‘explainer video’ here:





And to see who won last year's Awards, and get a sense of what to expect at our Award ceremony, watch our film captured at Coventry Cathedral here.

Before filling out your form, it's worth checking out the Rules & Guidelines for entering the Awards. And you might like to read our FAQs.

Judging

Each year, a judging panel is assembled in each nation (England, Ireland/N.Ireland, Scotland, Wales) which features Creative Lives staff and trustees, representatives from local stakeholders and previous winners. The panels choose a winner and runner-up from each nation.

All shortlisted groups can also receive votes from the public in order to win the People’s Choice Award. This is voted for online via the Creative Lives website. And all shortlisted groups are also invited to vote for one of the groups (not their own!) to win the Peer Award for Excellence.

Prizes

Winners receive a bespoke award inspired by the region our Awards Ceremony takes place in, a framed certificate, a cash prize and free access to all of Creative Lives’ future ‘Creative Learning’ online training sessions. Previous applicants have also found that being shortlisted for, or winning, a Creative Lives Award has benefitted them on funding applications and raised their profile considerably. Plus two representatives from each winning group will receive invitations to the Awards Ceremony, with all travel and accommodation paid. 

Here’s what one previous winner had to say: 

It was wonderful to feel that recognition and it really did spread the word about us, almost overnight. It gave us an incredible confidence boost. 

The Awards have been running since 2010 - meet some of our previous winners here.

You can enter the Creative Lives Awards here until Monday 19 December 2022.

Cymraeg 

Os hoffech chi lenwi'r ffurflen gais yn Gymraeg, cliciwch yma

Cyn llenwi'r ffurflen, mae'n werth darllen y Rheolau a Chanllawiau ar gyfer ymgeisio am y Gwobrau. Ac efallai yr hoffech chi ddarllen ein Cwestiynau Cyffredin.

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