KM Charity Kent Volunteering Awards 2019: ‘Our Work of Art’ Project wins a double accolade!



The project – Our Work or Art – has just won, not one, but two KM Charity Kent Volunteering Awards, presented on Friday 22 November 2019, at the awards ceremony held at Hempstead House Country House Hotel & Spa, Sittingbourne.

Organised by the KM Charity Team, the awards aim to celebrate and reward the work of the thousands of people who work unpaid every day to provide invaluable community services across Kent, Medway, Bexley and Bromley. Over 130 applications were received, of which 24 won an award.


PHOTO: Centre: Catherine Arnell, Espression Arts CIC, creative lead of the Our Work of Art project, with (left) from the creative volunteer team, Susan Farris, and (right) Gayle Shearwood.

The Canterbury District Award for Best Art Project Volunteer Team was presented by humanitarian and author, Terry Waite, CBE to Catherine Arnell, Espression Arts CIC, lead creative of the project, who received it on behalf of the volunteer team and project partners: Age UK Canterbury, Age UK Herne Bay & Whitstable, Kent Arts & Wellbeing and Espression Arts CIC.

Geraldine Allinson, former long-serving chairman of the KM Group, then presented the Overall Art Project Volunteer Team of the Year in Kent  to Catherine and two project volunteers, Gayle Shearwood and Susan Farris.


Catherine Arnell, lead creative for the project said:

“We are so very proud to receive this award on behalf of our wonderful volunteers who are at the heart of everything we achieve. Without their time, energy, skills and amazing experience, we wouldn’t reach as many vulnerable and isolated older people and bring them as much joy and creativity as we do!”

Susan Farris, creative volunteer said: “I felt honoured to represent Our Work of Art and am proud of our achievement. It was especially nice to meet like minded people who give up their free time to engage and inspire people.

Gayle Shearwood, creative volunteer remarked: “It was a brilliant evening. Knowing that other people see the passion and importance of Our Work of Art is a fantastic, heart-warming feeling!”

Dr Neil Brown, Chief Officer, Age UK Canterbury, lead of the project partnership, emphasised:

“The social value of what our volunteers achieve for others and themselves is vast. We are thrilled that our partnership with Kent Arts & Wellbeing and Espression Arts CIC goes from strength to strength each year, inspiring and reaching out to more people.

The team is now inviting in more local people to join the creative volunteer team. Anyone over 50 who would like to find out more please get in touch.  The next programme of three, early evening (4-7pm) training sessions will be held in January 2020.”

Our Work of Art next round of creative volunteer training in 2020

For further information, or to fix a time to meet the project team and volunteers and find out more about the forthcoming, free, 3-session training programme in starting mid-January 2020, please contact:

Catherine Arnell or leave a message on 01227 765665
and/or pop in to Espression Arts Café for a friendly informal chat (afternoons Wed to Sat)
29-30 Palace Street, Canterbury, CT1 2DZ


Fay Blair mobile: 07786 307 664
The Kent Volunteering awards are staged by:
KM Charity Team part of Inspire Schools

Supported by:
Kent Community Foundation, supported by the Kent Police and Crime CommissionerPfizer R&D UK Limitedthe EKC Group, the Lord Lieutenant of KentStronger Kent Communities, the National Lottery Community Fund, km-fm, metroSTOR and Hempstead House Country House Hotel & Spa.

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