The annual awards ceremony celebrates creativity amongst voluntary arts
The winners of an awards ceremony that celebrates voluntary arts have been revealed.
The Epic Awards, now in their tenth year, are the premier awards for community and volunteer-led creative projects based in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, shining a light on their achievements and aiming to inspire others to get involved and participate in creative activities.
The awards are run by Voluntary Arts, who promote participation in creative, cultural activities. Over 60,000 voluntary arts groups across the UK and Republic of Ireland are eligible to nominate themselves for the Epic Awards. The judging panels in each of the nations selected a total of 29 groups to be shortlisted for this year’s awards based on activity which took place in 2019.
A winner and runner-up for each national award (England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales), plus the Celebrating Diversity Award, Peer Award For Excellence and People’s Choice Award, was announced on Thursday (22 October) via a celebratory online gathering. The event welcomed invited guests from other major charities and arts organisations as well as representatives of Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales and Creative Scotland.
Two Edinburgh groups were selected by the Scotland judging panel for this year’s Scotland Epic Award Winner and Runner-up. Bridgend Eco-Bothy was chosen as the winner, with The Spit it Out Project chosen both as Scotland Runner-up and the Celebrating Diversity Award (see below for more details on these projects).
The 2020 winners will each be receiving a winner’s pack by post, including a special framed certificate as well as a cash prize. Winning or being shortlisted for an Epic Award has also had very positive effects for voluntary arts groups in the past, as many of them find their profile raised locally and nationally and that it has helped with fundraising efforts.
Will Golding, of Bridgend Eco-Bothy, said: “We are absolutely over the moon to win the Epic Award in Scotland this year!
“Funded by The Wooden Spoon, Bridgend Eco-Bothy has been a labour of love for many volunteers in our community for the last three years. A wonderful mixed group of people from all walks of life have worked tirelessly together to build our very own off-grid community eco-bothy, in the city, all made from natural and sustainable materials and techniques. From design, to site clearance, construction, fundraising, planning and celebrating, those volunteers have led on every stage, and created a very caring fun supportive team around it.
“To win, especially at this difficult time of isolation and anxiety, is such a boost to morale and a wonderful recognition of the creative committed approach of all involved.”
Jill Miller, chair of Voluntary Arts Scotland, said: “It was a real pleasure to join the judging panel selecting this year’s Epic Award winners for Scotland. Although we had our work cut out, with such an inspirational shortlist to choose from, we felt that both Bridgend Eco-Bothy and The Spit it Out Project had achieved something very special within their respective communities.
“The Spit it Out Project is a collective of 12 volunteers who use their wide range of skills to arrange visual and performance art that tackles difficult and taboo subjects, providing a platform for discussions around mental health and sexual trauma.
“While our Scotland Winners, Bridgend Eco-Bothy saw over 40 volunteers from all walks of life come together and work creatively to build a unique ‘off-grid’ building for the whole community to use. We wish both projects every success for the future.”