Recognising our Angels
We are in a fortunate position in Britain that we have countless heritage sites which provide us, and tourists alike, with a window into the fascinating history behind our country. The preservation of many of the sites is crucial if our future generations are able to enjoy them – as well as continue the economic contribution generated from tourist interest.
It is easy to forget about the time and money it takes to preserve and care for these places – luckily for us, there are unsung armies working behind the scenes to maintain the upkeep of these special heritage sites.
Historic England, in association with the Andrew Lloyd-Webber Foundation, takes the time to recognise our heritage angels every year with an annual awards ceremony. We are passionate about helping our clients to protect historic buildings and sites, so when the opportunity arose to sponsor an award category this year we grabbed it with both hands.
The award ceremony was filled with pride and emotion from all of the individuals shortlisted as well as admiration from a host of supporters. The evening saw winners who have chosen a career in protecting our heritage, volunteers who have a passion for ensuring Britain marks its history, as well as those individuals who have found themselves at a crossroads in life and sought solace in learning a new skill whilst making a difference.
Operation Nightingale particularly stood out to us and was a worthy winner of the Best Community Action Project. Former Royal Marine, Richard Bennett, shared his story of recovery aided by Project Nightingale. Richard suffered spinal injuries whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2011 leaving him with a significant physical and mental road to recovery as a civilian. Operation Nightingale works to provide veterans with the opportunity of becoming involved with heritage; Richard attended an archaeological dig arranged by the project on Salisbury Plain where they excavated an Anglo-Saxon cemetery which is where he first caught the bug for archaeology. Due to this first experience via Operation Nightingale, Richard sat a degree in archaeology and has become involved in a number of major digs across Britain.
This is just one great example of how Operation Nightingale works to make a difference to our veterans whilst helping to support our heritage.
To find out more about the Angel Awards and to read more about this year’s shortlist and winners click here.