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Crenham Award

We are raising £75,000 over three years to engage vulnerable and marginalised young people and adults in creative writing. Arvon’s Crenham Award enables people who have experienced deprivation to be mentored by highly respected authors on a week-long Arvon writing retreat. Join us by making a donation, and we’ll keep you updated on the creative journey of the beneficiaries.

We will partner with the Peer Mentor Service at Liverpool Waves of Hope, to reach people who have suffered deprivation due to multiple and complex needs. The individuals to benefit from the partnership will be volunteer mentors who have experienced difficulties with substance misuse, mental health, homelessness and/or offending, and now provide inspiration and support to those who are still in that situation.

The situations and needs of those who are at risk of homelessness are highly individual and complex. Housing is only one part of their story. Many people need help with literacy to access training, confidence to find employment, and support to address emotional and psychological needs. An Arvon week provides a place where everyone is treated as a writer, where the imagination is unlocked, difficult experiences are processed and hope for a positive future is created.

Dean Stigwood
Acting Head of Development

The Crenham Award honours the vision of Arvon’s co-founder, the late John Moat, to increase access to literature and creative writing for marginalised young people and adults. We believe that immersing yourself in creative writing nourishes the imagination, and deepens the connection to self and to the world, helping to create new possibilities and change. The name Crenham comes from the home that he shared with his wife Antoinette for nearly fifty years. Nestled in a steep, wooded valley in north Devon, Crenham Mill was John’s retreat and a special place that inspired his artistic endeavour.

To date we have raised £36,800 towards our £75,000 target to partner with Liverpool Waves of Hope and another organisation to be announced later on in the programme. Support the aims of the Award by making a donation or entering our raffle and we’ll keep you updated on the creative journey of the beneficiaries.


Testimonial Read More

The space to write, guided by published authors, was invaluable. Participants were encouraged to pursue excellence, to stretch the limits of their writing ability. This wasn’t diversionary, time-filling activity but real art – challenging and ambitious. We are excited by the idea of a three year partnership with Arvon. We can’t wait to see the work that comes out of it! — Peter Naylor, the Co-Ordinator of the programme

If you would like to know more about the Crenham Award or the partnership, please contact Kathryn Beale, Head of Development on email: or via telephone: 020 7324 2576 or in writing to: Arvon, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA.