Spread the Word are joint winners of the 2022 Achates Individual Philanthropy Award


Spread the Word and Battersea Arts Centre are joint winners of the 2022 Achates Philanthropy Prize, the only annual prize that celebrates first-time supporters of culture in the UK, announced on Wednesday 9 November at a special ceremony at Birmingham Symphony Hall, presented by philanthropist and long-standing Symphony Hall donor, Peter How.

For the first time in the history of the Prize, the Individual Philanthropy Award was awarded jointly to Sam and Rosie Berwick, nominated by Spread the Word, and to Rafe Offer, nominated by Battersea Arts Centre.

Caroline McCormick, Chair of the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation, said: “Culture is an essential part of society and of a life well lived. At a time when economic pressures are severe, it is important that the many ways in which cultural organisations drive value in our communities and the inspiring example of those who enable this impact, through their support, are celebrated. All of the shortlisted organisations and their supporters evidence the symbiotic role of cultural organisations and their communities.”

Spread the Word nominated Sam and Rosie Berwick for their generous philanthropic gift towards the creation of the Early Career Bursary for low income London writers programme which will benefit three low-income London-based writers each year. The Berwicks co-designed the programme together with us at Spread the Word, in recognition of the significant barriers faced by unpublished, socio-economically marginalised writers. The couple are committed to supporting the programme annually for at least five years. This nomination recognised not only a substantial financial gift and a sustained level of support but also highlighted the importance of unlocking the potential of real partnership and co-creation between charities and donors who share their vision and values.

Ruth Harrison, Director, Spread the Word, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sam and Rosie Berwick’s generous support of the Early Career Bursaries for low income London writers has been recognised by the Prize through the Individual Award. This recognition acknowledges the partnership between Spread the Word and Sam and Rosie in co-creating a programme that responds to the challenges for low income writers, particularly those from marginalised communities, in progressing their creative work and careers. Their sustained gift and our shared purpose will help make a real difference to writers and the stories we get to read and hear.”

Sam and Rosie Berwick, first-time supporters of Spread the Word, said: “Both of us are incredibly fortunate to be a part of this, and want to thank everyone at the Cultural Philanthropy Foundation for all that they do. This Prize is not really about the giving side of all of this, but is more about the great work that Spread the Word and all those that help them do, and it is especially for those who they have reached out to and have the courage and energy to write creatively. Hopefully, this project encourages more donors to get involved in and help in any way possible those that are going to create a body of work that will feed our minds and souls for generations to come.”

Rafe Offer and Sam and Rosie Berwick were selected from a shortlist of six outstanding first-time supporters for culture in the UK – the other nominees were: Cath Longman-Jones, nominated by Cardboard Citizens; new donors to the Manchester Contemporary Art Fund, nominated by Manchester Art Gallery; Will Hanway and Luise Luetcke, nominated by Museum of the Home; and Rosianna Halse Rojas, nominated by The Women’s Prize Trust.

As winners of the Individual Philanthropy Award, Rafe Offer and Sam and Rosie Berwick will share the role of custodians of a sculpture by the renowned British artist, Peter Brooke-Ball MRB, for the next year. The Individual Philanthropy Award Prize fund of £5,000, donated by Achates, was split between Spread the Word and Battersea Arts Centre.

Spread the Word welcomes conversations with potential supporters interested in co-creating and/ or investing in programmes that create sustained and meaningful change for marginalised London writers.

Published Thursday 10 November