A Criccieth group has won a national award for bringing the community together through art.

Creative Criccieth has won the Wales Award at the 2021 Creative Lives Awards, the national awards celebrating arts and community led activity. This year’s awards shone a light on the importance and resilience of creative work during the pandemic, and Creative Criccieth has been honoured for engaging with the community to decorate benches for intergenerational use, its projects to honour the NHS, and a gown made of poppies.

The awards took place last Tuesday evening, 1 March, at Coventry Cathedral as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations.

Creative Lives, the registered charity that champions community and volunteer-led arts activity selected the winners from a shortlist of 31 inspiring groups from across the UK and Ireland.

The winners were chosen for helping people through the pressures of lockdown by offering ways to stay connected, feel supported, be creative.

Robin Simpson, chief executive of Creative Lives, said: “The annual awards are always an inspiring celebration of the ingenuity, determination and passion of volunteer-led creative groups in local communities across the UK and Ireland. This year’s awards feel particularly humbling, reflecting the incredible way that creative groups responded to the once-in-a-lifetime challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, using their capabilities, resources and networks in extraordinary ways to support those in greatest need within their communities through this difficult period.

“I am genuinely in awe of these amazing volunteers and their stunning achievements. I applaud them all and urge you to discover their wonderful stories for yourself.”

Catrin Jones from Creative Criccieth said: “I am so proud that we responded to the challenges imposed by Covid-19 with compassion, energy and vision. We reached out, through varied creative projects to involve hundreds in the community, drawing on talents from across the generations and from all the districts of the town, contributing to people’s well-being and quality of life. The response from individuals and community groups to our varied imaginative projects have been fantastic.”