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New Focus win a National Creative Learning Award

Fri, 15th Mar, 2019

Our young people’s collective New Focus, have been awarded a National Creative Learning Award. They won in the Heritage category for their recent Heritage Lottery project No Man’s Land: Young People Uncover Women’s Viewpoints of the First World War.

New Focus worked in partnership with The Peace Museum, Bradford; the University of Leeds; and IWM (Imperial War Museums). New Focus were given special access to the partners’ archives and took part in workshops run by leading experts in photography, history and the First World War. In response, New Focus created their own publication for other young people sharing some of the women’s stories they discovered. This book brings to life the First World War through the eyes of women.

No Man’s Land has been distributed free to over 40 schools and libraries. New Focus ran creative workshops and delivered presentations at festivals, museums and even the House of Commons. All shared new insights and helped a new generation engage with the First World War.

Judge, Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum, said – “This is a brilliant project and publication. I applaud its commitment to challenging and breaking stereotypes. Participants have worked together to make the past relevant and resonant to today and their lives. The imaginative peer led publication will be a school based resource for the future. The commitment to inclusion runs throughout the entire project; from participants, events and workshops to book distribution to students and teachers. I hope this award encourages New Focus to develop with ever bigger and bolder ambition - as individuals, as a collective and as creatives in their city and that it raises the profile and supports future plans to ensure NEW FOCUS continue to make, create, take pride in and lead change in their communities. Congratulations!”


Jennifer Sobol, New Focus Project Manager – “I feel incredibly proud of every New Focus member who worked on this project. Winning this award is a huge boost for New Focus and a national endorsement of the value of our group’s work. The award helps us stand out as innovative creative people, and is a major external affirmation that will support us to develop more ambitious projects in the future”.

Benjamin Heaton, New Focus member – “I’m ecstatic that we won, I have never felt so proud of myself. It was incredible to be at the awards ceremony, we feel privileged and honoured to have won in the Heritage category from the many entries the Creative Learning Guild received”.

The awards are organised by The Creative Learning Guild, a charity based in Yorkshire that supports the grassroots creative learning movement across the UK through a Guild membership scheme and the new awards.


The judging panel include an Oliver award winning theatre producer, a representative from the international Lego Foundation, leading disability arts professional Ruth Gould and acclaimed poet Ian McMillan. A full list of the judges can be found here