2023 ART Awards

The ART Awards recognise people and groups who are leading best practice and innovation in the teaching and development of ringing and our Learning the Ropes achievers. The teaching awards are open to everyone, not just ART Members or those using the Learning the Ropes Scheme. The ringing awards are open to those who have participated in one of the Learning the Ropes programmes (on tower or hand bells) or in the Learning the Ropes Plus scheme.

The ART Award winners were announced at the ART Conference, which this year was held in Birmingham on Saturday 11 March.

The Len Roberts Award for the Promotion of Ringing


Prize of £300 – sponsored by Len Roberts

The Len Roberts Award is for the person (or people) making a significant contribution to the promotion of ringing in their local area. The judges want to understand the purpose of the activities undertaken and the impact and benefits they have had for ringing, ringers, and the local community. Promotion can be to the whole local community or be specific to particular groups, e.g. schools, scouts and guide, or local interest groups.

Winner: Richard and Rebecca Steele

The Sarah Beacham Youth Award


Prize of £800 sponsored by – the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust

This award is for youth or school groups, and university societies who are successfully recruiting, retaining and developing young ringers. The judges want to understand any barriers that have been overcome and how the group links into the wider ringing community. Consideration will be given to the ethos of the youth group, how the young ringers are developed, and the transition from the group to ring elsewhere.

Winner: Cambridge University Guild

Runner-up: Worcester Cathedral Young Ringers

The ART Award for Excellence in Recruitment and Retention


Prize of £400 – sponsored by AbelSim

The judges are looking for how successful a group or individual has been in recruiting and retaining recruits and any differences in approach which have been particularly effective. They want to see that the activities are focussed on long-term retention and are keen that any lessons learned are transmitted to the wider ringing community.

This award is not only open to individuals, but also to towers and ringing clusters.

Winner: Wensleydale Cluster

Highly Commended: Tom Farthing, Bob Woods

The ART Award for Inspiring Leadership in Ringing


Prize of £400 – sponsored by Talent Innovations


An award for individuals who create and deliver a long term vision for their bell ringing community, alongside imaginative and inspiring leadership. The judges want to understand the barriers and challenges that have been overcome and what was instrumental in making the leader successful – including insights into the specific leadership skills that made the difference and reflections on what others can learn.

This award is looking for nominations of individual leader(s), even though they might well be working as part of a team.

Winner: Debbie Phipps

Highly Commended: Sonia Field, Nikki Thomas, Hayley Young

Learning the Ropes Achievement Award


Prize of £250 – sponsored by The Ancient Society of College Youths

The ringing achievement award is open to those who attained LtR Level 5 on tower bells or handbells between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2022. The judges will consider the individual’s ringing development in terms of quality, quantity and complexity, the timescale over which the progress has been made and the support available.

Winner: Benjy Mallard

Highly Commended: James Ellis, George Ellis, Sarah Robbins, Dominic Johnson

Learning the Ropes Contribution Award


Prize of £250 – sponsored by The Ancient Society of College Youths

The ringer’s contribution award is not based on ringing ability or attainment but for contribution to the wider ringing community, for example, within a band, local area, Guild, Association or even the Central Council. For 2022, the contribution category is open to anyone who has been enrolled on the Learning the Ropes programme (on tower bells or handbells) at any level. The judges are particularly keen to see evidence of organisation, leadership, technical skills or examples of wider initiative and/or innovation.

Winner: Darren Swancott

Runners-up: Wendy Archibald, Tilly Cooper, Katie Havenhand, Cathy Neyland


» Julia Cater (Chief Judge)

» Colin Newman

» Wendy Bloom

Past winners

» 2021 winners

» 2020 winners

» 2019 winners

» 2018 winners

» 2017 winners

» 2016 winners


Prizes may be spent in a flexible manner, to be agreed with the winners, so that value is added to the group and activities undertaken by the winners. The award winners are announced at the annual ART Conference in March. Prizes should be spent within two years of notification, unless agreed otherwise with ART. The Learning the Ropes highly commended cash prizes may be spent in any way.

ART Awards Leader

Stephanie Warboys at artawards@bellringing.org

The Sarah Beacham Trust

The ART Awards for Youth Groups have been generously funded by the Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust which has transferred its funds to ART as the appropriate educational body to develop these awards. These ART Awards will be called The Sarah Beacham School Group Award and the Sarah Beacham Youth Group Award.

» The Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust