Voices Across Time, a theatre company based in Banbury, Oxfordshire, have been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. The award is for Voices Across Time’s work creating intergenerational, participatory performances that celebrate shared culture.
Voices Across Time (VaT) uniquely combine music and history in their original shows. With a focus on British history, Voices Across Time weave together social, political and musical content to deliver shows that remember the past, revive it and reimagine it on stage. Their aim is to create diverse communities both onstage and off stage, with cast, crew and audience of all ages coming together in unison to improve social cohesion through singing, watching and joining in together.
From a shared love of music and history, Voices Across Time was formed in 2016 and consists of 3 core team members Flo Taylor, Joe Cummings and Harriet Wells. The team enjoy exciting portfolio careers working with organisations including The Royal British Legion, BBC and The Royal Opera House and combine their experiences, skills and creativity to develop innovative and meaningful projects for Voices Across Time. As well as writing and performing new shows, the organisation has worked with schools, care homes and community groups creating their very own musicals as well as offering mentoring and experience for those studying or training in the arts.
Alongside VaT’s three directors is a continuously growing network of volunteers, including actors, artists, designers and technicians who contribute specialist skills and creativity, and who go above and beyond to ensure an inclusive and welcoming community is created. Without Voices Across Time’s volunteers, the company would not be able to thrive. It is truly thanks to the generosity of these people that Voices Across Time has been bestowed this honour and Flo, Joe and Harriet would like to take this opportunity to give a huge thank-you to everyone who supports VaT!
Voices Across Time is one of 241 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.
The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate The Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including an inclusive tennis club in Lincolnshire; a children’s bereavement charity in London; a support group those living with dementia and their carers in North Yorkshire; a volunteer minibus service in Cumbria; a group supporting young people in Belfast; a community radio station in Inverness and a mountain rescue team in Powys.
Representatives of Voices Across Time will receive the award crystal and certificate from Tim Stevenson, OBE, Lord-Lieutenant of Oxfordshire later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers from Voices Across Time will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2022 (depending on restrictions at the time), along with other recipients of this year’s Award
Florence Taylor, Voices Across Time’s Executive Producer, says: “We are so honoured and delighted to receive this prestigious award. We owe everything to our volunteers and are truly humbled by their support and kindness. We cannot wait to get them altogether again on the stage to sing our hearts out and raise a glass to VaT.”