Community Archives and Heritage Group 2021 award winners announced

Leavesden volunteers in the cemetery
Image courtesy of Leavesden Hospital History Association
Leavesden selection of objects
Image courtesy of Leavesden Hospital History Association
Susan Major and Anne Houson from Clements Hall Local History Group York, with their award
Leavesden cemetery stones
Image courtesy of Leavesden Hospital History Association

The 2021 CAHG award winners are:

Leavesden Hospitals History Association: winner of the Gathering and Preserving Heritage award, which focuses on the process of collecting heritage and preserving or stewarding heritage.

Leavesden Hospitals History Association was also awarded the overall winner of the Best Community Archive and Heritage Group of 2021. All entrants are automatically considered for this award.


In assessing the Leavesden Hospitals History Association project, the judges were naturally impressed with the scale of work and effort provided by participants in the project to undertake cemetery restoration. Alongside this, however, was the sheer range of activities and platforms designed to ensure the stories were maintained. It was clear audiences had a wide range of ways in which they could engage with the heritage.

Clements Hall Local History Group, York: winner of the Community Engagement category, which looks for novel and successful ways of engaging communities with community archive collections.

The judges noted the wide range of activities that the group employ to reach as wide an audience as possible. In this way, the work of the archive is made relevant for a real range of people who engage and it was also noted how well the group continued to maintain their community links through lockdown.

Age Cymru Dyfed – West Wales Veterans Archive: winner of the Contribution to Wellbeing award, which looks at projects or activities which show evidence of running activities that have beneficial impacts on the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Hearing and valuing participants

The judges were impressed by the way this project connected the simple act of truly being human and listening to someone’s story with the formation of an archive. Participants are made to feel heard and valued while their narratives can connect and reconnect them with families and friends.

Jane Golding, Chair of CAHG, commented:

We would like to congratulate this year’s award winners who have all demonstrated best practice and innovation in their different approaches to community archiving. The judging process for the overall winner was a lively debate as all were worthy winners!

We would also like to encourage community groups in the UK and Ireland that are CAHG members (i.e. community archives, community heritage groups, community museums and community archaeology groups) to consider entering next year’s awards. If you represent a group that is not already a member of CAHG why not sign up? It’s free to join and makes you part of a much wider network. Perhaps you could be collecting an award in 2022!

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