CHWA 2020 Awards: The Results

CHWA 2020 Award sculptures created by Elaine Lim Newton
Elaine Lim Newton

We are very excited to finally be able to announce the winners and highly commended organisations/projects of the CHWA 2020 Awards. Selected from over 80 exciting applicants from across the country and sector, these examples of practice demonstrate real commitment to nurturing and shaping cultures of care for each other, their communities and the planet.

During rather an uncertain and tiring time, it seemed especially important to create this moment to celebrate their work and remind us all of what can be achieved, to revitalise us and to bring inspiration.

The results were announced live at our virtual CHWA2020 Awards Gathering, Friday 20 November, hosted by Lord Howarth of Newport. You can watch the ceremony here!

We would like to give a big thanks to our award partners, Anna Eaton (Ideas Alliance), Nicola Naismith ( Practising Well) and Hilary Jennings (The Happy Museums Project and Culture Declares Emergency) for their generous spirit of collaboration and hard work behind the scenes to make the award programme happen. Thank you to their fellow award judges, Moira Sinclair, Mah Rana, Damian Hebron, Ruth Sapsed and Tony Butler for their time and insights, too.

To read more about the shortlisted projects please click here

Collective Power in partnership with the Ideas Alliance

"As judges we loved learning about each of the shortlisted projects collaborative efforts. We were truly inspired by the diversity of partnerships. Each project demonstrated what can be achieved when we work together across different disciplines and how much there is to gain when we pool our time, resources, networks, ideas and imaginations. We also know that collaborative working isn’t always easy and takes patience, planning and a real culture of inclusivity so we were really impressed by the scale of the shortlisted partnerships." 

Anna Eaton, Ideas Alliance

Ideas Alliance are running a blog series up until Christmas celebrating each of the brilliant projects shortlisted for the Collective Power Award. Read it here.

WINNER: Daughters of Fortune, Mind The Gap and partners

" This a very exciting and engaging project. As judges, we were particularly impressed by the co-design and co-production element, and the way in which participants’ voices and lived experience were influencing public and professional perceptions. The reach in terms of audiences and research dissemination was very impressive as were the range of partnerships. And the quality of interventions and outputs were very high. "

Highly Commended: Our Day Out, Creative Arts East


" We liked the strong partnerships with charities and local authorities that this project demonstrated. The research element, including tracking impact, was impressive as was the intentionality of health and wellbeing goals. We particularly appreciated and wanted to celebrate  the effort required to deliver high quality interventions in rural locations, and  we were pleased to see artists’ training included in the process."


Highly Commended: Loudspeaker, Nottingham Contemporary

" Judges felt this was a very good example of co-creation enhancing wellbeing and minimising social isolation. Careful thought had been given to removing barriers to participation and there was clear evidence of impact. Again, there was a strong range of partnerships involved. We particularly wanted to celebrate how a relatively small and local project can make a difference."


The Practising Well Award in collaboration with Nicola Naismith

" As a judging panel we were collectively really moved by the evidence of care and support for creative practitioners across all the projects we looked at and discussed. It was noticeable how good practice is evident particularly within music and it was discussed how great it would be to see other art-forms taking up some of the approaches evident in the award shortlist: residential, training, peer to peer mentoring and supervision which take into account both the financial and support needs of creative practitioners.  

Freelancers are the most economically vulnerable and if we really want the arts workforce to thrive, it is really important that good quality support, as seen in the Practising Well shortlist, is provided consistently. We hope that practitioner support will continue to evolve and become available to more creative practitioners across all creative disciplines in the near future. "

Nicola Naismith, artist and researcher (Artists Practising Well)

WINNER: Plymouth Music Zone

" In reviewing each of the shortlisted entries we had expansive discussions about how to single out a winner. It was clear when reviewing one particular application the breadth and depth of the practitioner support available really stood out. The support was described as a hub which offers a range of activities including work shadowing opportunities and snapshot observations, skills pods, pastoral support and supervision. Furthermore practitioners are also employed to deliver training to peer groups which indicates the value placed upon their experience. The support is also financially accessible with paid time to attend and engage in training and support activities.

The organisation has created a model of support which is embedded within its structure and workplace culture and in so doing we felt raised the support expectations of creative practitioners. We feel this model has the potential to be widely adapted and applied to other organisations working in arts for health and wellbeing."

Highly Commended: Music for Life, Wigmore Hall

" We would like to highly commend the work of Wigmore Hall for its commitment and dedication to high quality practice both in terms of participant experience and creative practitioner support. When reviewing this shortlisted application it was clear the commitment to and actions around creative practitioners, practising well.  Further - the opportunity for practitioners to attend and present at conferences was evidence of the value placed upon them, and the value of their testimony and voice in such arenas. This way of working has the potential to inform work in similar settings and we hope more people will get to know of its work and approach to supporting creative practitioners through being highly commended within this award category." 

Climate Award in partnership with The Happy Museums Project and Culture Declares Emergency

" We greatly enjoyed reading each of the shortlisted entries, which together demonstrated an incredibly broad range of progressive work in the sector seeking to address climate change and inspire future action. Building on our work at Happy Museum Project  and the Culture Declares Emergency, we were excited by projects which were leading by example in caring for people, place and planet and responding to the threat of environmental and ecological emergency. In particular we were excited by holistic approaches that responded across the breadth of organisational activity from facilities management to cultural practice and community engagement."

Hilary Jennings, The Happy Museum Project

WINNER: The Think&Do Camden Collective

" This fantastic project has taken an innovative and creative approach to working at the intersection of civic and civil society, placing the imagination – through the question What If? - at the heart of its work.  Arising from a local Citizen’s Climate Crisis Assembly and located in a Pop Up community space in North London, the project has galvanized action, debate and collaboration with diverse groups across the borough, bringing Council Planners together with local people, activists with schools, creatives working closely with lawyers. This rich mix of voices and concerns has come together to improve the health and wellbeing of communities across the borough and to inspire others to do likewise.  The project not only encapsulates the active, lively nature of community action but also the reflective, deliberative aspect of cultural conversations."

Highly Commended: The Courtyard Declares

" The fantastically integrated and holistic approach from The Courtyard Centre for The Arts in Herefordshire, whom declared Climate Emergency in September 2019, demonstrated how they had developed a suite of climate, culture and wellbeing activities which now encompass the whole organisation!  From installation of solar panels and carbon literacy training to drama workshops and exhibitions, this organisation has the ambition to become the county’s cultural leader for carbon reduction organisation and building partnerships, working with the community to share ideas and actions to make things work. 

The Making of the CHWA2020 Awards: Elaine Lim Newton

Working with our conference partner, Derby City Council, we were able to commission Derby-based visual artist and sculptor, Elaine Lim Newton, to create be-spoke artworks for the award-winners. The awards are all made with environmentally friendly and sustainable materials and inspired by the award themes.

United in Song: A new composition from Sing Viva Carers' Choir premieres at CHWA2020 Awards Ceremony

Sing Viva is a choir for Carers in Derby and Derbyshire ran by Sinifonia Viva.  Before March 2020, the two Sing Viva choirs met monthly, in Derby and Chesterfield, but since lockdown, the choir has come together to form one online choir, meeting weekly. During lockdown Sing Viva  worked with composer James Redwood to create their own lockdown anthem – United in Song (Music Brings Us Joy). They invited Affinity Signing Choir to join them to create a BSL interpretation of the song.