Prize Winners Announced: Marsh Awards for Volunteering with NADFAS

We are delighted to announce the winners of the 2016 Marsh Trust Awards, recognising NADFAS volunteers who work to help support crafts and heritage in their local area.

The Marsh Christian Trust was founded in 1981 as a grant-making body by Brian Marsh. Over the past 30 years the Trust has developed an Awards Scheme to provide recognition to and reward those who modestly work to improve peoples’ lives and the world we live in.

NADFAS Trustee, Kate Siebert, commented “This is the fourth time that, thanks to the Marsh Trust, we can offer prizes recognising and celebrating our wonderful volunteers of whom we are immensely proud.  The nominations this year revealed amazing levels of creativity, dedication and generosity.”

Brian Marsh OBE, Chairman of the Marsh Christian Trust, adds: “Working in partnership with NADFAS has introduced to us the invaluable contributions and essential work of thousands of volunteers across the country. Without their efforts, the sector would miss out on savings of hundreds of thousands of pounds each year and we are lucky to benefit from their wide ranging work. From church recording, to engaging young people in the arts and running heritage projects, NADFAS volunteers can be found in organizations across the UK and internationally. These Awards help to highlight the importance of volunteers to this sector and we are pleased to recognise their outstanding efforts.”

The Awards were presented at the NADFAS AGM by Charles Micklewright, Trustee of the Marsh Christian Trust.

Individual Prize Winners:

Jill Donnelly – Young Arts

In partnership with Hinchingbrooke Hospital and 15 local primary schools, Jill has established displays of children’s artwork along the hospital walls and organised matched funding and social events to thank the young artists and recognise the work done in schools. During her professional life as a Consultant Paediatrician, Jill explored art and music as a mean of communication with vulnerable children, some with delayed language development and volunteering with NADFAS has offered her the opportunity to further this interest. Jill has also encouraged more secondary schools to submit work for the RBA/NADFAS competition and in 2015, 14 pieces were submitted, one of which is now being hung in the Mall Galleries. She has also joined forces with CAYAC (Cambridgeshire Area Young Text Box: PRESS RELEASEArtists Competition) and increased the number of schools participating from 4 to 28, supplying 94 items which were displayed alongside adult artwork.

Anne Haward – Church Recorder

Anne was Essex Church Recording Area Representative from 1992 until 2000 and subsequently became a member of the National Church Recording Team, while continuing to provide support to her area successor. She has been particularly involved in the leadership of the Felsted and Brentwood groups, as well as a number of others across Essex and nationwide. In her time as the President of the Felsted group, Anne organised and funded several ‘President Events’ in the summer and has also served as a NADFAS lecturer on the History of the Anglican Church. Anne is particularly well known in the area for her classical background, which has enabled her lead study days on lettering in and translating Latin and Old French inscriptions. In 2004, she published a guide to Latin in churches which is widely used by church recorders.

Barbara Naylor was named as a Highly Commended winner for her ten years of service to church recording and in recognition of her current post as the Church Recording Area Representative for West Surrey. Barbara has run many training sessions for the group of church recorders of The Royal Chapel in Windsor Great Park. She ensures that all of the recording is done to a very high standard and works tirelessly and patiently to ensure that such a standard is maintained throughout all her area projects.

Michael and Nonie Brasier-Creagh and John Day – Heritage Volunteers

Michael Brasier-Creagh has been a member of the Book Conservation Team for almost 20 years, giving his time in a variety of different roles. Michael was the Society projectionist for the original slide lectures and oversaw the change to digital equipment, giving a large amount of his time to mastering how to use the equipment in a professional way. He was also a committee member for 13 years and, along with his wife Nonie, was regularly on hand to help at Study Days and New Members’ Receptions. Michael also led for the society on a collaborative project to catalogue the records of the former Blackburn Orphanage in order to establish how historic attitudes to life in the Orphanage compared to the attitudes held by those in Care now. Michael took responsibility for how the group costed and carried out the initial cataloguing and categorising of records so they could be fed in to the statistical analysis. Nonie Brasier-Creagh ran the society’s Young Arts activities for ten years and has been a Church Recorder and Book Conservation Team member for over 10 years. She has also been the Church Trail Team’s artist for six years.

John Day joined the Book Conservation Team at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall ten years ago at the age of 80. Upon joining the team, his skill in technical design was immediately recognised and he began making “customised internal and external bookshoes” which are supports for the safe storage of fragile and delicate books and ledgers. His design is now included as a recommended technique in the NADFAS Book Conservation Training Programme. His skills have been used to great advantage over the last ten years, ensuring the safe storage of valuable and much used reference books and documents, thus providing a considerable financial saving for the museum.

Group Awards:

The Farnham Decorative and Fine Arts Society was recognised for their work with young people and the arts.

The Society ran a Schools’ Art Exhibition in 2015 for two weeks where a range of around 20 schools were invited to contribute work to the exhibition, which was then viewed by hundreds of visitors. In the end there were over 400 exhibits to catalogue and mount and 5 professional judges were invited to award prizes in a number of categories, which were then presented by the Farnham Town Mayor. The exhibition is the only one in the area bringing together schools, students and families to share and celebrate creative art at a local level and is therefore a major community resource. It gives a huge confidence boost to the young people involved on an individual level and increases the awareness of the need for art in schools.

The group have already successfully launched two church trails and more are in the pipeline. The church trails take children and young people on a guided tour of exploration and discovery of the church and its environs, as a basis for the wider understanding of the crafts and history of their local area, as well as their links with and roots into their past. The group have also held training sessions in the arts for teachers with the aim of improving the teachers’ abilities to teach art and in doing so benefitting the children they teach. Since the level of art included in the curriculum is declining, the group are working to ensure that art is encouraged in schools and the wider community.

Due to the high standard of nominations this year, the panel decided to recognise a Highly Commended winner:

The Budleigh Salterton Decorative and Fine Arts Society was named Highly Commended for their running of an innovative project Budding Creativity which engages local school children to write and illustrate stories about their town which are then exhibited in various locations across the town. The society has been able to encourage a great number of young people to realise that they could fulfil their creative abilities successfully and with great enjoyment.