Andrew Lloyd Webber joined Historic England on Sunday night to announce the winners of this year’s Angel Awards, including Joshua Aitken-Dunkeld from the Isle of Wight.
The awards, presented with fellow judge Bettany Hughes, are a celebration of the unsung heroes who work tirelessly to save our heritage. The ceremony featured a special appearance by Julian Fellowes, the writer and executive producer of ‘Downton Abbey’ who was there to present the People’s Favourite Award.
Special appearances were also made by TV journalist and news presenter Fiona Bruce and Art Historian Philip Mould who presented awards at the glittering ceremony at The Palace Theatre in London.
Joshua Aitken-Dunkeld was announced as the winner for ‘Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by Young People’.
Josh first joined the Friends of Frank James – a group dedicated to saving the derelict Grade II listed hospital in East Cowes – when he was just 16-years-old. He quickly became a key member of the group, taking responsibility for digital championing of the site. He led the way in highlighting the plight of the building to the public and telling the sad story of Frank James by setting up the website, creating beautiful YouTube videos and running the project’s social media presence. Without these vital communication channels the group would not have been able to gain support locally or reach out to grant giving bodies.
“I am proud to be representing the Isle of Wight’s heritage. This award is one of the best things that’s happened to me, it feels a bit like a dream. I love this building to bits and we’re one step closer to getting it saved.”
Andrew Lloyd Webber said:
“I would like to congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted for an Angel Award for their dedication to saving England’s historic buildings and places – often working on their own initiative, without outside help or funding. These awards shine the spotlight on their brilliant and inspirational work.”
Duncan Wilson, Historic England Chief Executive, added:
“The show was all about recognising the volunteers and groups who do so much to help rescue our heritage for future generations. We are surrounded by historic buildings and places that help tell the story of who we are, but many depend on local volunteers for their very survival. These awards celebrate the vital work of those heritage heroes.”