Arts Derbyshire


Help shine a light on Covid community heroes

First Art is today launching Shine a Light to find local heroes that have gone above and beyond to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic in communities in Ashfield, Bolsover, Mansfield and North East Derbyshire.

In the build-up to Christmas, First Art wants to provide a shining surprise to these heroes – whether they are individuals, local groups, organisations or businesses – to thank them for all their efforts.

Shine a Light is part of Chapter Three of First Art’s Go the Distance Festival, created in response to the pandemic and a way to bring light relief to communities in North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire. The Chapter will feature two other light-related projects, Light Up and Lights Out, which will take place over the coming months into the early part of 2021. Further details will be available at

Nominees could be volunteers in the community, a foodbank team, or businesses who are having a hard time but still doing great things. It could be an individual that has provided care, someone looking out for an elderly neighbour, or a member or team of our incredible emergency service workers.

First Art project manager, Vanessa Oxspring, explained:

“This time of year is naturally a time for reflection but there is added poignancy this year. With that is mind, we want to help local people to shine a light on those that have made an important contribution their local community during the difficulties of living and working through the coronavirus pandemic; work that has made, and is making, a huge difference to the lives of many others.

“Such people and organisations are a vital part of any community, but this year, more than ever, it’s especially important we are able to recognise those members that have gone the extra mile to give something back to their community during an extremely challenging year for everyone. It feels like the right time to honour these people that have gone the extra mile.”

Three heroes will be selected by a panel of judges, which will include community members, and they will each then receive a special light-filled and light-inspired surprise in December, just before Christmas. Final details are still being worked out to ensure the surprise complies with the latest Government guidelines on Covid safety measures.

Nominations are open now until 10pm on Saturday 5 December 2020 and First Art is urging people living in those communities to put forward their local heroes to be selected for a special thank you surprise to take place in December.

Nominations can be submitted online at or by email to

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