Tag Archives: UKBlogAwards

London and the Awards

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So I headed down to London for the ceremony of the UK Blog Awards 2017.

From my previous blog post, I spoke how winning although it would be nice, wasn’t the overall objective, the main objective of this whole experience was to raise further awareness of the Kynren project, and try and deliver as much exposure that I could.

And I’d like to say I definitely delivered in regards to that.

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So onboard we went heading to London, with no expectations, just to enjoy the whole experience, getting caught up in a moment of reflection and acknowledging my own personal accomplishments.

 

The realisation that I’d taken a blank piece of paper with an idea of writing down my experiences and recording them to a UK individual finalist all inside 12 months.

Even thinking about it now, it still doesn’t ring quite true.

So London, our capital city, the hustle and bustle, the landmarks, the tourists, even the weather, lots going on as always.

The awards were being held in a central location, just past Westminster bridge overlooking both Big Ben and the London Eye.

Armed with suits and sparkling shoes I was here, ready to represent Kynren one final time.

 

 

The awards themselves as expected was a lavish affair, paparazzi waiting to snap as car doors opened, me just casually walking in under the radar.

I was here and I was determined to enjoy it.

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I made a point of arriving on time, I wanted to take as much of the experience in as possible, and although arriving on time, several people had already arrived before me.

This wasn’t just a big opportunity to showcase and promote the Kynren project but it was a good opportunity to meet the industry’s best all under one roof, meeting new people and gaining new and valuable connections.

 

Amongst the many finalists, guests and judges were a number of sponsors showcasing their wares for all to see and become involved in on the evening.

The one that stood out for my blog was this;

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Which resulted in a long conversation with Odeon Cinemas regarding Kynren, in which I couldn’t resist playing them the Kynren trailer from my phone and informing them that their is ‘Only one Arthur when Kynren is in town’.

 

With waiting staff aplenty the drinks were flowing, and quirky food samples based on a funfair theme too.

What’s not to like when you’re being offered beer, mini burgers, fish and chips, popcorn and pick and mix as just a small range of their offerings.

The awards were living up to its hype and more.

The room was a buzz of activity, hundreds of writers and bloggers coming together with hope and anticipation, that it could be them that picks up an award?

I met some truly talented and inspirational people in that room on that night, with potential collaborations to come in the future too.

So, to the main event, we got called into the main room to take our seats.

 

This was it, from just having a go, to here, this was it.

All the writing, all the support from readers and volunteers, all the promotional and media work I had organised and arranged, everything came down to this.

A National Award representing Kynren, representing Bishop Auckland, and most of all representing the Archers.

Win or lose, we do this together.

 

It was fantastic to see our project in the programme, it was fantastic just to be here.

My expectations weren’t high, I didn’t expect to win, I was the only event in an ‘Events and Weddings’ category, so the standard was high.

But it wasn’t about the winning, yeah it would be nice, of course it would, but I didn’t need my name to be called out for my own personal recognition to realise how far I’d come, how much I had already achieved, the original objectives I had well and truly smashed and delivered on.

This was the moment of truth.

The winner is…

 

Congratulations to Whisper and Blush

https://whisperandblush.com/

Totally deserved in my opinion, I had a look through my stiff competition within my category before attending the awards, and this particular blog stood out, well after mine of course.

I had the privilege of meeting the girls after they accepted their award, Melissa and Kate are so humble, yet so passionate about the articles they create, and are great ambassadors for the blogging community.

Whisper and Blush actually won this award last year too, but I’ve already told them that I aim to see them both again next year.

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The night was an unforgettable experience, one in which will long live in my memory.

Even thinking back on it now, the images above of a blank piece of paper, and a starting idea could of ever resulted in what I have achieved.

Thank you to the UK Blog Awards for creating this event, to recognise and acknowledge the talent of writers who do blog, on a wide range of different topics and subject matters.

Thank you for accepting me into your blogging community in which likeminded people come together each week on Twitter to discuss experiences and share advice on a wide range of stimulating questions within #BlogHour which you can’t not help to become more reassured, more confident and supported.

Thank you to the wide range of different writers, bloggers and Vloggers who each share in the same passions as you do, I hope to see you again at an event soon.

My next thank you goes to every single reader, and there has been many, from the UK to around the World, I hope you have found each article interesting and has reached out and encouraged you to come along to one of the performances.

For anyone who is just stumbling across these blog articles for the first time I hope you enjoy them.

But my final thank you has to be reserved for these guys.

https://corryandrew.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/the-volunteers/

The Archers, the volunteers, where would we be without each other.

We all came together for the same reasons, many of us strangers, to becoming friends, best friends, but more than that now we are all a family.

We look out for and after our own, supportive and caring, we encourage our successes, and commiserate on disappointments.

But ultimately I will always be proud to have stood beside each and every one of you.

Season 2, Saturday 1st July, enjoy it as only Archers know how.

Good Luck to all, and I’ll see you on the other side.

 

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UK Blog Awards 2017

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Well here we are, Friday 21st April, the long countdown since finding out back in January that I became a finalist in these National awards.

And it now all comes down to tonight.

In all honesty there are no nerves, or certainly no nerves at the moment, I’ve done everything that I can do.

The pressure is well and truly off, even if it was ever on in the first place.

I’m not going to lie, now the day is here, everyone wants to win it badly, everyone has hope, and everyone deserves it too, and I’m very much no different.

But will I win?

Probably not, and I know friends, family, fellow volunteers, have been trying to tell me I might, and yes I might, you just never know.

But in all honesty I feel in my heart and my head that it will come as a surprise, and for me an unexpected, but welcome shock if it were to happen.

The objective of these awards has never been the recognition, but has been totally humbling to receive it in the process, one I thank every person who had taken the time to vote for.

One thing some won’t know, I mentioned last weekend, I have got depression, when I first entered these awards I did it for two reasons.

One to raise more exposure for the Kynren project and to hopefully attract more visitors to Bishop Auckland.

That’s always been my primary objective, and I already know that I’ve achieved that target.

The promotion work I’ve done over the last 4 months has been second to none.

Not has it been very important to promote the Kynren project, alongside myself, but it has been important to me to help, support and promote the UK Blog Awards and build up further awareness of them too.

I head to London today knowing that the impact I’ve made with regular promotion, radio and television interviews have placed me in a position that might just trigger that all important reactions tonight of:

‘What is Kynren?’

And as volunteers we already know that when each of these individuals type in their search bars on Google, the word ‘Kynren’ and watch the preview video of last year’s show they cannot fail to be impressed, because as the title goes it is Epic.

If you’ve not heard about it before, click here: https://www.facebook.com/Elevenarches/videos/1227949433938702/

Prepare to have you minds blown, with a fantastic spectacle before your own eyes, brought to you by hundreds of volunteers, let the music capture your attention and enjoy our journey.

The 1,500 strong volunteers can’t wait to welcome you and deliver 17 stunning performances this Summer.

The second point I’d like to talk about is me, not this blog, not the Kynren project, not the promotion, not the awards, just me.

What a lot of people won’t be aware of, as mentioned above I have depression, I don’t hide behind it, one of the most important steps that I acknowledge has been the process of being honest with myself and open to everyone, and to not hide behind it any longer.

When I entered these awards, it came about by chance, I’d just been diagnosed with depression, I was in a low, dark depressional cycle, I happened to stumble upon it on a Google search.

On the day I searched it, the closing date for entries was the end of that week, I entered based on two reasons, the one above which I’ve described and quite frankly my real objective, but two, to try and give myself some focus, some clarity, something to concentrate on.

And it’s worked, I don’t need to win tonight, yes it would be nice, I’ll be high on emotions if I do, but I don’t need to have my name called out tonight, because I’ve far achieved all I ever needed too.

Both for the Kynren project and for my wellbeing.

Becoming a finalist has strengthened me, it’s reaffirmed that I can write, my content is good, I have an ability to put the reader in the words, and when they are reading they feel they are the ones living it.

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As the quote goes that’s exactly how I feel I write, lots of readers have commented the same too, it’s sparked an interest to learn more, some have gone on to volunteer, others have booked tickets, the important thing is I captured the attention of many people Worldwide who may not have heard about it.

If you are attending tonight, please ask me, that’s what I’m here for.

I’m now part of a blogging community, which is rich in talent, that is supportive and helpful, that is fun and meaningful, and tonight is a celebration of what this industry is all about.

Fast growing, impact hitting in all topics and overall extremely worthwhile for both the writer, the brands and the charitable causes too.

No matter what happens tonight, I’m here for the ride, I’m here for the experience, and to take it all in, I’m here to meet new friends and make plenty more in the process.

And a final note goes out to all the other 258 finalists, in all categories, Congratulations and the very best of luck, we are all deserving finalists but the real winner tonight is ‘Blogging’

Raising more awareness of the true impact it can offer in our society.

Good Luck and I’ll see you all tonight.

All Good Things Must Come To An End

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In all honesty I wasn’t going to write and post this today, I was in the process of writing another blog article called ‘What Makes Me Proud’ which I’ll now post tomorrow.

I think sentiment has got the better of me today, memories and flashbacks and to post this article today instead of tomorrow seemed more appropriate.

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One year ago today, this is where it all started, and friendships really started to form, this was the very first Experience team social meet-up, which were to become a common event throughout the build up towards the first show.

On this particular evening hardly anyone knew each other, the weather was torrential rain, and if I’m perfectly honest, I had doubts about attending even though I had organised it all.

The weather clearly put a lot of volunteers off going, if I wasn’t the organiser, I probably would have gave it a miss too, but if I had I would of missed out on a memorable evening shared with great company.

How is it possible? How can close friendships be formed so quickly, with Kynren everything is possible.

Leading onto the subject matter of this post.

‘All Good Things Must Come To An End’

On Tuesday of this week, with an extremely heavy heart I informed all of my teammates and all of my fellow volunteers, that I would unfortunately be leaving the Kynren project.

No doubt it will have been a shock or surprised some, especially as I’ve gone through the majority of the show team rehearsals this Season 2.

To walk away from this project so close to the start of season 2, and now not experiencing what it would have been like to take part in a debut performance, and the chance to witness one of those truly magical standing ovations.

A decision I haven’t taken lightly, I’ve been weighing this up for weeks, ever since the first weekend of training sessions.

There’s an unanswered question here, “But why?”

And an answer that I wasn’t sure if I should reveal or not, I don’t hide behind it, but I’ve never revealed it within these blog posts, and I was unsure if I should start now.

Kynren for all that it is, and it’s for many things. Things that you may have read in this blog, and others that I’m going to write about to showcase Kynren’s true personality.

And for all the good reasons, the self purpose, the feeling of worth, the achievements, the growth in confidence, the people who are truly everything, who are what Kynren truly is, I had to walk away and put myself first.

It’s been a very emotional week, with what I’m not ashamed to admit too, a lot of tears.

I have thrown myself into this project, for the good of Kynren, the good of our town, for the good of the people, but mainly for the good of myself.

And it pains me to walk away now, knowing the work I’ve done has contributed to the successes of the the show.

I have helped to give Kynren alongside 1000 volunteers, 1000 teammates, but more so 1000 friends, a foundation in which Kynren can grow, a benchmark that Kynren can target and push boundaries, and with that memories that I can look back and treasure forever.

For some, you will already know, for others you won’t, I was diagnosed with depression in November of last year, the last 5/6 months have been extremely tough at times from a personal point of view, and although Kynren has been a saviour at times, truthfully that’s what it comes down to for leaving.

It’s difficult, extremely difficult, and a decision that keeps playing back and forth in my mind, as to have I done the right thing?

It’s an answer I’ll never find without having the courage to walk away from something I’ve fallen in love with.

And it truly breaks my heart in the process too.

Nothing is forever, it may be a break, for however long it takes, to walk away from the project is hard, to walk away from the people, the volunteers, a second family has been so, so tough.

But I’m proud of them all, and they will go into season 2 creating new memories, building on the new history of Bishop Auckland through Kynren, and delighting sell out crowds in the process.

So what’s left to say?

On Friday I finally head down to London to find out if my Kynren Blog has beaten the odds and will be announced as a National winner, at the UK Blog Awards.

Something that I could never of envisioned when starting this blog, win or not, I will be forever thankful to Helen Watson for encouraging me to write this, as it is now a written record of many memories and emotions that can be re-lived in detail for myself and fellow volunteers to be remembered.

As for this blog, it will continue, granted I won’t be involved in detail as I was previously, but there is still so much that is left untold, so many more memories to share.

And so many stories from fellow volunteers to be heard.

Once the awards are over, I’ll be asking for contributions of guest blog posts from fellow Archers that I can share with my blogging community, with my worldwide reading audience.

It was my personal plan to write from the eyes of different teams so everyone could experience this wonderful project from a different perspective, unfortunately I am going to be unable to do that this season, so I hope to hand over to the current Archers and let them describe to you all;

‘What does Kynren mean to them?’

A final note today goes to the many thousands of people who have taken the time to read each article, I really do hope you found them interesting, engaging and have captured your hearts as much as this project has captured mine.

Kynren, thank you for the memories, until the next time.

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Kynren Blog – Media Day (Part 2)

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Following on from part one of my media day with Bishop FM, I had arranged to do another pre-recorded interview in the afternoon, with fellow Archer Mark Ashley Pattison, who not only volunteers his time in Kynren’s Technical team, but also works for television network Made in Tyne and Wear.

After finishing my interview with Bishop FM I was unaware of not only how it went but how it was perceived until many messages came flooding in through social media from friends, and volunteers.

But this one was different, this was TV, where the camera is on you, and nerves did get the better of me on one or two occasions.

Mark doing his level best to calm me down and ensuring me that the interview was going well.

With all things, nerves come from those things that matter most to you, it is things that you care about and you want to do well not only for yourself, but the project and people who stand by your side.

We chose an isolated spot that has great views over the Kynren site and surrounding countryside to conduct the interview.

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Once I calmed my nerves, and tried to forget the camera was not only on me, but also constantly trying not to pause and keep the interview flowing and precise, we managed to record the full interview which can be seen below;

https://www.facebook.com/madeintyneandwear/videos/1850851121842004/

It’s quite incredible that this interview that was broadcast on Sky Channel 117 on Monday 27th March and has gone on to record over 7,000 views in just shy of 3 weeks.

Something I can definitely look back on and be proud of.

With the UK Blogging Awards now only a week away, time is being afforded to dream, it’s a finalist on merit, it tells the Kynren story from not only my volunteers perspective, but it really is just one of the many ‘unofficial stories of us’.

Mine however just happens to be recorded.

Win or lose, we as volunteers, us Archers, we do this together, and if it should happen to be announced as a winning blog in my category on the evening, we shall celebrate the achievement of it all together.

I’m proud to have got this far, it was entered as an opportunity to showcase and promote the project to a wider audience, to tell the inside story of Kynren, to share with the reading audience of all of the emotions that we as volunteers have gone through within the debut season and beyond.

And now the awards are almost upon us, I just hope I can do each and every Archer, past, present, newly joined and those teammates who are sadly no longer with us, David, Molly, Lynn and Brian proud by being able show Kynren off in it’s true light, and share in the real meaning of what it is like to be a volunteer.

Season 2 of Kynren opens on Saturday 1st July and runs for 17 shows throughout the Summer, to book your tickets for what will be the most talked about live outdoor show please visit the Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org/

Kynren Blog – Media Day (Part 1)

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On Saturday 25th March, I took part in my own Media Day as a way to promote my Kynren Blog in anticipation of the UK Blog Awards held on Friday 21st April in Westminster, London.

As a nominated finalist it was always my only intention to try and promote the Kynren project to a wider audience and promote the shows.

Earlier in the week I contacted local radio station Bishop FM to ask if they would be interested in doing an interview, I was surprised and delighted to hear that they would be, and they invited me in for a live interview segment on their Saturday morning breakfast show with Gary Burgham, as pictured below.

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On the morning of the broadcast I was feeling quite relaxed, despite never being interviewed live on air before.

I took it as a good opportunity to talk to the many listeners about Kynren and how this project has had a positive impact on my life.

Although once the interview started, I must admit it was quite daunting, hoping I wouldn’t pause too much and struggle to get my words out.

You can judge that for yourselves, to hear more about my interview please click on the attached link;

https://audiobook.com/posts/5747067-andrew-corry-a-volunteer-at-kynren

I have also prearranged with Gary that I will look to do a follow up interview after the awards ceremony, to inform his listeners of how the awards went on the evening.

Hopefully bringing back to Bishop Auckland the converted title of Individual Events & Weddings Blog of the Year.

Here’s hoping anyway.

To learn more about the UK Blog Awards please click on their website here: http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk

 

 

Daring to Dream

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With the UK Blog Awards now just a mere 4 weeks away, time is being afforded to dream.

In all honesty I’ve been allowing myself to dream big, well before now.

How can you not, it’s a big deal right, the UK Blog Awards is the biggest awards night in it’s industry, it’s a recognised National Award, with over 2,400 entries this year.

Whittled down to 259 finalists, across two different entries of either individual or business, in 17 different categories.

My Kynren Blog is only 1 of 7 listed North East Finalists, and the only 1 from County Durham.

Regardless of winning, it’s already a huge achievement in itself.

But as much as you afford yourself the time to dare to dream, it’s not actually about the winning.

It’s not been the key ingredient that I’m at this point, of course, everyone wants to win, but it’s not why I entered.

Several weeks ago I returned to a question I often ask myself in regards to everything that I do.

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I took the time out to remind myself of why I started, and not just on how I came to become a finalist at this year’s awards either.

I started this blog a year ago, in March of last year, I started it because in all honesty it seemed a good idea at the time, I wanted to record my journey through the Kynren process to one day look back on.

I’m not going to lie either, I didn’t find writing, over time writing found me.

I remember starting the blog, writing a couple of entries and then life took over and I slipped, on the Friday before the first show, the debut show on Saturday 2nd July 2016, I sat down and wrote and uploaded around 10 or 12 blogs to update my blog against it’s current timeline, and since then I’ve not looked back.

I’ve had the pleasure of writing a guest article for The Official Tourism Website of Durham – ‘This is Durham’ in July of last year writing a bespoke piece of what it is like to volunteer at Kynren.

And each blog entry since then has just told my story and my journey, in my own words and has captured my audience’s attention.

I have many readers, mainly across the UK but it has been read across numerous countries worldwide too.

And with that comes back to the reason why I started it.

It’s never been about the likes or the views, it’s great that so many people can and do relate to it.

But it wasn’t my drive to start it, and it’s still not my drive to continue with it.

Kynren is an ‘Epic Tale of England’, the award winning, spectacular open-air night show, run by volunteers that takes you on a captivating journey through 2,000 years of British history, myth and legend.

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But like I said I started this blog as a record to look back upon, to remember so many highlights and captivating memories. 

I entered the blog awards with the sole purpose of raising more awareness for our unbelievable, community project that is Kynren.

Little did I know that it would get this far.

So for me, winning would be nice, but it certainly isn’t everything, having the ability to head down to London in 4 weeks time, and share in a fantastic event and ceremony with so many amazing and inspirational writers and bloggers, covering so many topics and gaining so much insight, is what I’m most looking forward too.

With the added bonus of becoming an ‘Kynren Ambassador’ for the evening and raising the awareness and exposure of not just Kynren but the town our project lives and performs in, that is Bishop Auckland.

Anything above that is just a huge bonus.

For more information or to book your tickets for one of Kynren’s 17 shows this Summer, please visit the Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org/

Or to learn more about the awards ceremony please visit the UK Blog Awards website: http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk