The Plough Arts Centre wins national award supporting arts philanthropy
The Plough Arts Centre has won a national award recognising two generous benefactors for their support of young people in North Devon.
Claire and Ray Gard gave a bursary to enable young people suffering hardship to attend Plough Youth Theatre. This was their first ever venture into arts philanthropy and qualified them to be entered for the Achates Philanthropy prize.
There were nine organisations shortlisted and The Plough and the Gard's were thrilled to be announced the winners at an awards event in London on Monday 27 Nov.
Attending the awards ceremony, Richard Wolfenden-Brown, Director at The Plough said: "The Plough Arts Centre has thrived for forty two years but this is the first time we've ever won a national award - and we hope it won't be the last! Claire and Ray Gard's generous gift will inspire others to do likewise and this makes the arts more accessible to even more young people across North Devon."
Claire Gard added: "It is a great honour for us to receive this award. We set up the bursary in recognition of of the fact that giving young people access to the arts can be life-enhancing and provides something special outside their everyday lives and responsibilities."
The Gard's were presented with a sculpture by renowned British artist Peter Brooke-Ball MRBS and The Plough Arts Centre will receive £5,000.
The Plough intends to use these funds to match donations by individuals to the Youth Theatre Bursary Fund to ensure they have a sum of money to support young people for years to come. Each year they would like to support three youngsters to attend The Plough in Torrington and three more at The [email protected] Anne's in Barnstaple. If you are interested in becoming a benefactor, do call director, Richard Wolfenden-Brown or Annemarie Shillito on 01805 622 552 or email [email protected]
The Plough was shortlisted for both the individual philanthropy award and the corporate award, the only organisation to be shortlisted twice. Documentary maker Martin Pailthorpe is the local business philanthropist shortlisted. He has made eight short films for the organisation over the past year.
The Plough was up against some renowned companies from across the country including Park Theatre from London with support from Ian McKellen and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. The winner of the corporate prize was Hexham and Northern Marts and November Club, a performing arts company based in Northumberland.