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FORMER EASTENDERS AND I’M A CELEB STAR JOINS SEARCH FOR RHONDDA AND MERTHYR HEROES

Written by on 27th April 2021

National Lottery funding of more than £6.7 million has been given to good causes in Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil in 2019/20 according to new figures released today to mark the launch of The National Lottery Awards.

A total of 232 National Lottery grants were allocated in this period providing crucial support to arts, sports, heritage and community organisations in the Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil local authority areas.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery funded people and projects and, this year, the actress and TV presenter, Jacqueline Jossa, has joined forces with the National Lottery in the search for inspirational individuals and groups throughout the UK.

Jacqueline, who is known for portraying Lauren Branning in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from 2010 to 2018, and winning the nineteenth series of the ITV series I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2019, is encouraging the public to nominate the people and projects who do extraordinary things in their community with the help of National Lottery funding – especially during these challenging times.

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Last year, Wasem Said, 29, a doorman and mixed martial arts fighter from Butetown, Cardiff, was named as the UK-wide winner of the Sport Category in the Awards for his inspirational work in helping young people and his community during the pandemic. Wasem opened up the National Lottery supported Tiger Bay Amateur Boxing Club in Butetown two years ago. During the pandemic, he has led a team of young volunteers who have been distributing up to 120 food boxes a week to vulnerable and shielding families.

22.10.2020
Wasim Said at Tiger Bay Boxing Club
Picture by Nick Treharne

In 2020 there were almost 5000 nominations made and, once again, the National Lottery is looking to hear about those who are going the extra mile, doing amazing things and inspiring others. Anyone who has received National Lottery funding is eligible for nomination.

Winners in each category will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.

Urging people to get their nominations in, Jacqueline Jossa, said:  “I really hope lots of people nominate [a local hero] because these people deserve to be celebrated, especially during these challenging times when many need the support more than ever. So much National Lottery funding goes to great causes and allows these local heroes to continue their inspirational work within our communities and its thanks to National Lottery players that this can continue.”

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Encompassing all aspects of National Lottery good causes funding, the 2021 National Lottery Awards are seeking to recognise outstanding individuals in the following sectors:

  • Culture, Arts & Film
  • Heritage
  • Sport
  • Community/Charity

There will be a special Young Hero Award for someone under the age of 18 who has gone that extra mile in their organisation. All nominees must work or act for a National Lottery funded organisation or have received National Lottery funding.

Winners of these categories will be chosen by a judging panel made up of members of the National Lottery family and partners.

In addition, projects from any sector who have received National Lottery funding are eligible to enter The National Lottery Project of the Year category. Sixteen shortlisted finalists will compete in a UK-wide public vote in September to claim this title.

To make your nomination for this year’s National Lottery Awards, tweet @LottoGoodCauses with your suggestions or complete an entry form through our website https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards . Entries must be received by midnight on 7th June 2021.