Community Spirit Awards 2015: Changing lives through the arts

Halifax Courier Community Spirit Awards 2015 at Berties, Elland. Arts and Culture Award. From the left, host Clare Frisby, winners from Verd de Gris Sharod Marsden, Jeff Turner, Natalie Speake and sponsor from The New \Hobbit Chris Smith.
Halifax Courier Community Spirit Awards 2015 at Berties, Elland. Arts and Culture Award. From the left, host Clare Frisby, winners from Verd de Gris Sharod Marsden, Jeff Turner, Natalie Speake and sponsor from The New \Hobbit Chris Smith.

Arts and culture - sponsored by the new hobbit country inn and dining

This award is designed to recognise excellence in visual arts, music, film photograpy, writing, drama, dance or design.

Verd De Gris is not-for-profit creative arts company based in Hebden Bridge.

One of its key aims is to bring ‘the arts’ to people who wouldn’t normally get involved.

Organisers work hard to change people’s lives through the power of art, empowering both young and old. At the heart of their work is the belief that the arts can change lives and give people a better future.

Recent work with the Pakistani community saw young and old people from different backgrounds join together through the arts.

Its ethos is to empower people to find their voice to take control of issues and concerns in their lives.

But at its heart is one simple message - to change lives and give people a better future.

Sharon Marsden, of Verd de Gris, said: “We are so so excited, we do beautiful work and we transform people’s lives.

“To be recognised fills our hearts with pride.

“For the past 13 years we have done this work and a lot of people’s lives have been changed.

“We feel so proud.”

The work of Verd De Gris in bringing the magic of the arts to Calderdale shone through in the judging process.

But other fantastic nominees in the category included The Doghouse music promoters, the Halifax Music Heritage Trail and the Halifax Young Singers.