A small local charity based in Hitchin, Hertfordshire has won one of the most prestigious accolades to be awarded in the UK charity sector at The Charity Awards 2010.Rhythms of the World, a charity run wholly by volunteers, which supports the arts across the East of England with an annual arts festival, beat Artworks Creative Communities and The Churches Conservation Trust to win the Arts, culture and heritage award at a ceremony in London held on the 10th June. Volunteers Cath Cole and Dr Gill Hannington collected the award at a gala dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in front of 1,000 of the charity world’s most senior representatives and celebrity guests including Jo Brand, Greta Scacchi, Lynda Bellingham, Jon Snow and Peter Bowles, who presented awards in 10 separate categories.
The Charity Award judges recognised Rhythms of the World for the invaluable work it does promoting music, art, dance and cuisine to people of all ages, races and abilities across the region. The festival, held in the parkland of Hitchin Priory, is run entirely by local volunteers and has evolved into one of the biggest world music festivals in the UK with around 25,000 people visiting each year.
Other winners on the night included The Family Planning Association, for its All About Us project – an initiative to provide information on sexual health, relationships and well-being to people with learning disabilities; The Children’s Trust, a national charity based in Surrey, that provides care, education, therapy and rehabilitation to children with multiple disabilities and Read International, a small, innovative charity which collects unwanted books from secondary schools in the UK and redistributes them to schools in Tanzania. Community Service Volunteers, the UK’s leading volunteering and training charity, won the award for Overall excellence in charity management and Julia Unwin, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, picked up the Outstanding leadership award.
“Over the years many wonderful charities have been recognised by the Charity Awards, showing how much fantastic work takes place within the sector. What the winning charities all have in common is their ability to turn innovation, passion and vision into an effective project or organisation demonstrating considerable impact. It’s vital that we acknowledge these achievements, which is why I’m delighted Rhythms of the World has won the Arts, culture and heritage award. It is a fantastic organisation and the award is thoroughly deserved. I congratulate everyone involved.”
Daniel Phelan, organiser of the Charity Awards 2010
The Charity Awards 2010 is organised by Charity Finance, the leading business publication for the voluntary sector. The distinguished panel of judges includes John Low CBE, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, Maeve Sherlock OBE, former chief executive of the Refugee Council, Dame Jo Williams, former chief executive of Mencap, Paul Winter, chief executive of The Leadership Trust, and Dame Mary Marsh, founding Director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme and former Chief Executive of the NSPCC. The winning charities are chosen for specific initiatives which have improved the delivery of their charitable objectives and which demonstrate outstanding examples of best practice from which other charities can learn.
The Charity Awards is sponsored by the Charities Aid Foundation, The Leadership Trust and The Times.
Rhythms of the World - 24-25th Jul 2010 - Hitchin Priory