CHWA 2021 Awards: The Judges

The CHWA 2021 Awards programme is made possible with the generosity and commitment of our award partners and judges who work with us to amplify and celebrate the work of the sector.

This year we are excited to bring together artists, practitioners, lived experience perspectives, researchers, community activists and CHWA 2020 Award shortlisted projects to form our judging panels.

Collective Power in collaboration with Ideas Alliance and The Lived Experience Network (The LENs)

Anna Eaton

Anna is one of the founding Directors of the Ideas Alliance, a social enterprise that wants public services to work 'with' local people rather than 'to' or 'for' them. They build bridges between communities and organisations – between stories and strategy. Anna runs operations behind the scenes and is the editor of the Ideas Hub, an online space that publishes stories about great ideas and people working in communities using co-production and collaborative approaches.

She specialises in community engagement, operations and campaigning. Anna has worked for Labour politicians and on national campaigns around music, politics, infrastructure and education. She is passionate about capturing and sharing stories in order to inspire others and bring about change.

Kelly McCormack

Kelly is an Event Manager for the University of Leicester, Film Producer for GM Finney Productions, Performer for Skytribe Studios, Director of Social Enterprise Iconic Music Dance Drama Ltd, and Trustee for Voluntary Action Leicester. 

In 2019, Kelly won the East Midlands Women’s Award (EMWA) Outstanding Woman in Arts, Media, and Music. 

Kelly is also the LENs Champion for the East Midlands.

Mah Rana

Mah is a researcher, artist & maker, filmmaker, writer and curator based in London. She has over 20 years’ experience lecturing on UG and PG courses in the UK and internationally, and over 30 years exhibiting internationally with her creative practice. 

Currently she is teaching on BSc and MSc Psychology courses at London Southbank University, and Art and Design at the Royal College of Art. 

She is also working on a PhD in Psychology at Birkbeck College investigating the lived experience of participatory crafting within the context of dementia-care, and speaks at conferences covering issues across art, craft, design, health and wellbeing.

As well as being a LENs champion for London, Mah is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Steven Skelley

Culture should be for everyone to enjoy, for wellbeing, a sense of meaning and all the magical stuff that makes up a community.

I am a museum curator who specialises in working out in communities, especially with harder to reach and diverse groups. You can find me in a working man’s club, market stall or hospital ward as much as you would in the museum store. I believe curating for local government is a public service and I am driven by how local people experience culture on their terms and the places that matter to them.

Community curating means bonds of friendship and partnership working and I was very proud that our ESOL group Feels Like Home was shortlisted for the  CHWA 2020 Collective Power Award for our collaboration with the Refugee Council. This local group now has over 40 members with big plans who are all new to Barnsley."

Practising Well in collaboration with Nicola Naismith

Nicola Naismith

Nicola Naismith is a Visual Artist, Lecturer and Researcher. She was the Visual Artist Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2017/18. She completed an AHRC and Clore Leadership research project Artists Practising Well in spring 2019 which explores affective support for creative practitioners working in health and wellbeing contexts. Nicola is currently researching a range of reflective practice methods which will be used to inform the Practising Well Support Menu and Support Conversation resources for creative practitioners, commissioners and funders. 

Jain Boon

Jain is an award-winning Trauma Informed theatre professional with over 30 years’ experience of co-producing theatre that places people’s experience of adversity and trauma, centre stage, with the aim of reducing stigma and isolation. She is passionate about the democratisation of Mental Health and Wellbeing and believes that the arts create space for connections and healing.

Jain works with Re-live Theatre a Life Story Organisation based in Wales. Re-Live are at the forefront of the Arts in Health & Wellbeing agenda in Wales.

She trained at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and now works as Tutor for the Young Actors Studio where she set up a regular Summer School Programme for Care Experienced Young Experts.

Jain also works for WMC & Sparc Valleys Kids, Hijinx Theatre and is a trainer for ACW Lead Creative Schools Scheme and the ACE Support Hub Wales.

She is currently training as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner

Sue Flowers

Sue Flowers is an artist and writer based in North Lancashire, UK.

She is a North West LENs Regional Champion and has managed not for profit arts organisation Green Close for 25 years.

She believes in the power of the arts to transform lives and has regularly used her lived experience as a carer to campaign for positive change. She recently led the highly successful Phoenix Project programme in partnership with Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. Sue is passionate about creative health for all, and believes that caring for artists’ health whilst delivering creative opportunities for others is essential.

I use artistic processes to explore how we respond to ever-changing realities, in the hope that my work opens up new dialogues and understanding. Art is essential to our wellbeing and ensuring artists wellbeing is valued and supported is critical to the future success of developing creative health for all."

Climate in partnership with the Happy Museum Project and Culture Declares Emergency

Hilary Jennings

Hilary is part time Director of the Happy Museum Project which explores museum practice that supports the wellbeing of people, place and planet. 

She is an associate of the Clore Leadership and Extend Leadership programmes and a core group member of the Co-Creating Change network and has worked extensively in the craft sector including founder Director for Craft with the government skills agency Creative and Cultural Skills. 

She is Co-Chair of the global grassroots sustainability Transition Network.  

Bridget McKenzie

Bridget McKenzie is a researcher and creative curator in culture, learning and environment. She has been director of Flow Associates since 2006, after 14 years in roles such as Education Officer for Tate and Head of Learning at the British Library.

She is an advisor for Culture Unstained and co-founder of Culture Declares Emergency. She presents and publishes internationally on possibilities of Regenerative Culture. She is founding director of Climate Museum UK, a new CIC which stirs and collects the emerging response to the Earth crisis. 

Maxwell A. Ayamba

Maxwell A. Ayamba is a PhD research student in Black Studies, Department of American & Canadian Studies, University of Nottingham - Midland4 Cities/Arts and Humanities Research Council. He is also an environmental journalist by profession, worked previously as an Associate Lecturer/Research Associate at Sheffield Hallam, University (SHU).

He set up the Sheffield Environmental Movement (SEM) in 2016 to promote access and participation in the natural environment for people from minoritized communities. He also Cofounded the 100 Black Men Walk for Health Group, which inspired production of the national “Black Men Walking”. 


Kelly Hill

Over the past couple of years Kelly has helped to establish Culture Declares Emergency as a growing community of creative practitioners concerned about the dire state of our living planet.

Kelly also works with Writers Rebel - a group of novelists, poets, screenwriters and academics who use the power of words to claim a safer, fairer future for all the planet’s inhabitants – human and non-human. Her partner, Michael Pawlyn, spearheaded Architects Declare with Steve Tompkins and they now have over 5,000 companies signed up worldwide.

For this award, Kelly is also the representative for Think & Do Camden Collective (Winner, CHWA 2020 Climate Awards).