The Grit Project Wins National Creative Learning Award

Poetry People’s year-long heritage project ‘The Grit’, about the almost forgotten fishing village in Lowestoft, has won the national Creative Learning Award in the Literature & Creative Writing category.

These new Creative Learning Awards celebrate the inspirational innovators, educators and practitioners who live and breathe creative learning. The awards ranged across 15 categories, including formal education, the arts and creative business. They are organised by The Creative Learning Guild, a Yorkshire-based charity that supports the grassroots creative learning movement across the UK.

Judges used criteria that had been informed by a consultation of arts and education organisations to choose the winners from each of the categories, and the winners were announced at the very first Creative Learning Summit in Halifax on Friday 8th March.

The judging panel include an Olivier award winning theatre producer, a representative from the international Lego Foundation, leading disability arts professional Ruth Gould and acclaimed poet Ian McMillan. Fellow judge and Carnegie Medal winning writer Melvin Burgess described The Grit as: “a highly imaginative project, reaching right across the community and connecting the generations in a variety of different ways to bring the past to life in a part of the world where it had been all but forgotten.”

The Grit project has enabled over 4,000 people to reconnect with or discover the rich heritage of the UK’s most easterly community. Feedback from participants – primary school children and their families, teachers, care home residents, visitors and businesses – has been overwhelmingly positive and highlights the hunger in Lowestoft for shared opportunities to value the town.

Poetry People’s co-founder/director Dean Parkin is the Lowestoft-born poet and writer who led The Grit project and wrote its acclaimed touring theatre show ‘Pearls from The Grit’. He said: “It’s wonderful to have a national spotlight shining so positively on the town, and it’s all thanks to the passion of Lowestoft people for their history and that special ‘gritty’ beach village spirit.”

Naomi Jaffa, co-founder/director of Poetry People, said: “The Grit is Poetry People’s first major project and winning this Creative Learning Award is a wonderful endorsement of our work. We’re planning another ‘Pearls from The Grit’ tour this autumn and another GritFest in 2020, and this win is such an honour and a boost. It’s definitely putting The Grit back into Lowestoft!”

For more information visit www.creativelearningguild.co.uk / www.poetrypeople.co.uk.