12 creative groups across the UK and Ireland are celebrated at prestigious national awards

“It was wonderful to feel that recognition and it really did spread the word about us, almost overnight. It gave us an incredible confidence boost” Previous Winner

  • Chosen from a shortlist of 36 creative groups from across England, Ireland/Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, all the groups were recognised for creative engagement within their communities 
  • Paisley-based Sewing2gether All Nations wins the Scotland award – a grassroots craft organisation for members of the refugee and asylum seeker community, primarily women, to practice English and build new friendships
  • The runner-up from Scotland is Newstead News, based in the Scottish Borders, it serves one of the most rurally remote regions of Scotland.
  • The full list of winners was announced at Aspire in Leeds on Tuesday 7 March

Creative Lives, the registered charity that champions community and volunteer-led arts activity, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2022 Creative Lives Awards. From a shortlist of 36 inspiring groups across the UK, the panel, comprising Creative Lives staff and trustees, representatives from local stakeholders and previous winners, had the hard task of choosing the winners from across the four nations. Each year, the Awards are held in a different location across the UK and Ireland. This year, it is took place in Leeds as part of LEEDS 2023 Year of Culture.
All the winners and runners-up were announced last night at a ceremony held in the 

award-winning events venue, Aspire, in the heart of Leeds city centre. From Scotland, the winner is Sewing2gether All Nations. Based in Paisley, Sewing2gether All Nations is a grass roots community-based organisation for members of the refugee and asylum seeker community, primarily supporting women who wish to practice English and build new friendships. 

The group started providing creative workshops with just two volunteers in 2018 and now has six sessional workers, ten volunteers and around 80 members participating in its activities each year. The runner-up from Scotland is Newstead News, based in the Scottish Borders. Started during the pandemic, the Newstead News serves one of the most rurally remote regions of Scotland. Initially a small A4 flyer, the paper has since grown in both size and involvement 

and now features writing and photography from over 100 contributors, with more joining all the time.The Celebrating Diversity Award has been won by the African and Caribbean Elders in Scotland. Founded in 2019, African and Caribbean Elders Scotland (ACES) is an organisation for African and Caribbean over 60s living in Scotland. Members from around the country meet regularly online and face-to-face, providing mutual support, companionship and fun.Robin Simpson, Chief Executive, Creative Lives said: “It is truly amazing what 

volunteer-led creative groups achieve within their communities, overcoming challenges with ingenuity, determination, goodwill and volunteer effort to provide inspiring, life-enhancing experiences for local people. The stories behind the Creative Lives Awards are moving, surprising, joyful and genuinely uplifting. At a time when people face so many difficulties Creative Lives is proud to celebrate the remarkable creative activities taking place in almost every local community that demonstrate how creativity helps us to find a way to make things better.”Each winner received an award and/or framed certificate, cash prize and free access to all of 

Creative Lives future Creative Learning online training sessions.Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in the UK Government Lucy Frazer said: “Volunteer-led creative groups play a vital role in communities across the UK and it is fantastic to see them being celebrated at the Creative Lives Awards. I would like to congratulate all the winners and shortlisted groups on their wide range of fantastic achievements which are all worthy of recognition.”Scotland’s Minister for Culture Neil Gray said: “I’m so pleased to be able to congratulate two winners from Scotland. Firstly, the winners of the Scotland Creative Lives Award for 2022, Sewing2gether All Nations, are a wonderful example of the welcoming nation Scotland is, providing help and support for members of the refugee and asylum seeker community while drawing on Scotland’s rich textile history. Secondly, the winners of the Celebrating Diversity Award, African and Caribbean Elders in Scotland – who have been chosen from all of the entries across the UK and Ireland – are providing a space for African and Caribbean over-60s living in Scotland to connect, share experiences and celebrate their heritage and culture. I’d like to thank all of the shortlisted entrants, including the Scottish runners up Newstead News, for the work they do throughout the year using their creativity to bring people together.”The team from Sewing2gether collectively said: ”We are delighted Sewing2gether All Nations group members are recipients of the Creative Lives Award for Scotland. We are ‘New Scots’ originating from many countries across the world, from Afghanistan to Venezuela that meets to sew, create and practice English. It is wonderful to receive an award for something that we love so much to do.” Lisa Cowan, Newstead News Editor said: “On behalf of everyone who creates the Newstead News, we’re thrilled to have been announced as the Scottish Runners-up for a Creative Lives Award. Who would have thought that a simple leaflet produced at the start of the pandemic would quickly evolve into a colourful, 20-page magazine entirely written and produced by our community. This award belongs to everyone in Newstead, but especially the 100 or so people who have been involved with everything from writing stories to making deliveries.  It’s rewarding to see our small village making such a big impact.” For more about Creative Lives visit:

For more about the Creative Lives Awards visit:


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X