Local arts festival picks up national award

16 May 2016

The Noise Arts Festival in Thundersley scopes £1,500 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Faith in Action awards.

Richard Keeler, The Noise Arts Festival Director and his wife Collete, were presented with the award at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Oldham on Saturday 14 May. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational Insurance, recognise the efforts of churches that establish and maintain social initiatives within their local community.

Richard said: “We are delighted to receive this prize as it affirms what we are aiming to do with our community based festival. The festival has grown from strength to strength each year and this award acknowledges we are heading in the right direction. The money will go towards funding a number of different aspects including allowing us to continue to offer a number of free activities for families to enjoy. As well as helping us liaise with local schools, getting them to take part in the festival, and allow their pupils to showcase work.”

The Noise Arts Festival project, based at Thundersley Congregational Church, is a series of events and activities designed to engage with the community. The community festival encourages adults and children from different social groups to come together. The gatherings, which are hosted across a variety of venues, provide an array of activities including: crafts; art competitions; musical workshops; community walks and more. There are activities available to suit everyone. The festival encourages attendees to have a voice, by making a ‘noise’ in their community and be recognised for their talents. The project benefits from a fantastic team of volunteers who welcome people of all ages and backgrounds to become involved at the events, whatever their skills. The crowd building event is in its fifth year of running and the attendance continues to grow.

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational Insurance, commented: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives such as ‘The Noise Arts Festival’ that really make a difference and unite people. I feel the success of this wide ranging project is that it not only showcases local talent, it encourages everyone to acquire new skills and provides a place for social interaction.”

Rev Adrian Burr, Chair of the Congregational Federation Mission and Society Committee and a member of the judging panel commented: “The standard of entries for this year’s awards was high, and each of the prize winning organisations have made a real impact in their local area. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, projects have grown out of local congregations and we’re proud to provide ‘The Noise Arts Festival’ with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within the community.”

To view short films of this year’s winning projects, visit http://ow.ly/GIXw3006Lz6