Creative Lives

This project is now complete

One of our original grants, funded as part of “Keeping the spirit alive”, Voluntary Arts provided a platform for hundreds of voluntary arts groups across the UK to showcase their activities and to improve their effectiveness.

The project in numbers


Project spend

October 2013 – October 2016

Project duration

Creative Lives

Grantee organisation

Creative Lives (formerly known as Voluntary Arts) works to improve the environment for arts participation across the UK, and as an umbrella body provides information and training to thousands of groups and individuals who take part in creative cultural activities.

Creative Lives’ Spirit-funded project covered five strands: extending the reach and raising the profile of Voluntary Arts Week – an annual celebration of cultural activity, shining a national spotlight on the wide range of groups that make up the UK’s voluntary arts sector.

Project aims

  1. A greater range of people volunteering longer term in the arts and crafts
  2. A higher profile of participation and volunteering in the arts and crafts, and its benefits.
  3. More opportunities in local communities for people to take part in arts and crafts


The project evaluation identifies the following highlights across the 3 years:

  • 512 young people, disabled people and people from areas of deprivation to become actively involved long-term in their communities.
  • Helped develop positive perceptions of disabled people
  • Promoted and increased participation and accessibility through our Voluntary Arts Week, Epic Awards and training programmes
  • Built links and partnerships with events of national interest with one-off opportunities like the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and ongoing annual events order to encourage full and active participation from all community members
  • Inspired new and fresh ideas which have perpetuated the spirit of the London 2012 Games
  • Continued to disseminate the learning gained to help the organisation of future events.

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