Media Release: Inspirational drumming group wins the first Scottish Epic Award


A RENFREWSHIRE drumming group, which made an inspirational video about its members’ recovery from mental illness, has been presented with the first Scottish Epic Award.

The 2011 Epic Awards were presented by Lord Luce at a prestigious reception at the Royal Over-Seas League in London on Monday 30 January.

The Epic Awards are designed to highlight excellence and innovation in amateur arts groups across the UK and Republic of Ireland, and are an initiative of Voluntary Arts.

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs at the Scottish Government, commended Renfrewshire-based drumming group, The Buddy Beat, who won the Scotland Epic Award, saying:

“The Buddy Beat is a truly amazing group which demonstrates the power of the arts to change people’s lives for the better. Scotland is a creative nation with a thriving cultural community and our voluntary groups play an important part in that. This project is a worthy winner of an Epic Award in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.”

Collecting the award on behalf of The Buddy Beat (along with group leader, Jane Bentley), Tom Chalmers spoke about his involvement in the group, and their hopes for the video they made:

“We wanted to inspire people with our film, to get out there and get involved themselves. If anybody’s got a mental health condition, they should never let that hold them back, because there’s so much out there that they can participate in.

“Being part of a group like The Buddy Beat helps improve your mental health and your self-worth.”

You can view a short version of The Buddy Beat’s inspirational film here: Keep the beat: Our journey in rhythm and learn more about the organisation at

As well as their awards, winners also received a stash of prizes including cash, vouchers for arts and craft supplies and membership of Arts Development UK.

Case studies featuring the winners, runners up and other entrants from across the UK can be found at


Editor’s notes:

For photos and further quotes, please contact:

Kelly Donaldson

Voluntary Arts Scotland

54 Manor Place


EH3 73H

Tel: 0131 225 7355 / 07843 056023

Epic Awards and Voluntary Arts

The Epic Awards are an initiative of Voluntary Arts and aim to identify and promote excellent art and craft practice that exists within the voluntary arts sector.

Voluntary Arts is the national development agency for arts participation. The organisation raises awareness of the contribution that the voluntary and amateur arts and crafts make to the well-being of communities, social inclusion, lifelong learning, active citizenship and volunteering.


More details about each winner can be found at

Scotland: Buddy Beat –

England: Peterborough Male Voice Choir –

Ireland: Phizzfest –

Wales: Third Floor Gallery –


The package of prizes includes:

  • £125 cash for each winner
  • Annual membership of Arts Development UK (worth £165) for each winner
  • GreatArt gift vouchers worth £250 for each winner
  • GreatArt gift vouchers worth £100 for each runner-up
  • National publicity for the winners and an invitation to a prestigious winners’ reception
  • A pair of tickets to attend Twisted Thread’s textile craft show at either Olympia, London or Harrogate, Yorkshire.
  • Plus training and mentoring

Full details of prizes can be found on the Epic Awards website:

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Voluntary Arts Scotland. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Kelly Donaldson
Phone: 0131 225 7355