heritage for heroes

Help for Heroes and the Canal & River Trust are celebrating being named as one of three finalists in their category of this year’s prestigious Historic England Angel Awards.

The two charities came together to deliver an ambitious canal restoration and career recovery programme for wounded, injured or sick servicemen, women and veterans. The project gives the ex-veterans the opportunity to gain qualifications and readjust to civilian life and was made possible by £500,000 funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Heritage Heroes was set up to support veterans carry out vital restoration work on some of England’s oldest canals. Phase 3 and 4 of the programme took place in Wiltshire at the Kennet and Avon Canal and Pewsham Locks where veterans worked with Canal Trust volunteers to build a viewing platform, dipping platform and a children’s play area as well as various other restoration projects.

Mike Lee, Help for Heroes Project Manager says: “We are very excited to be nominated for a Heritage Angel award. 59 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans have benefitted from the project and it’s great to see the difference it’s made to their lives. It’s incredible that their work is being recognised by experts.”

Jason Leach, Enterprise and Restoration Team Manager for the Canal & River Trust, said: “We are so pleased that Heritage Heroes has been recognised by the Heritage Angels awards. The project has literally transformed lives as well as canals and historic structures. We are really proud of what the project has achieved and the partnership that we have with Help for Heroes.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I’m delighted to champion the people who protect the precious buildings and places around us. Everyone who has been shortlisted for an Historic England Angel Award has made a significant difference to our landscape and built environment. Congratulations to all of them! This year I am especially pleased that we are crowning an overall UK winner for the first time, showcasing the crucial work that is being done across the country by local heritage heroes.”

Vote for Heritage Heroes

While the four category winners will be decided by a panel of expert judges, each project is now seeking the public’s support to win a further award. All 12 shortlisted projects are in the running for the Historic England Followers’ and Telegraph Readers’ Favourite award chosen solely by the public.

Voting is now open. Cast your vote at Voting closes 5 November 2017.

Chaired by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the 2017 judging panel comprises historian Bettany Hughes, TV’s Restoration Man George Clarke, the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Baroness Lola Young and Historic England’s Chief Executive Duncan Wilson.

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