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LAST CHA-CHA-CHANCE TO NOMINATE RHONDDA AND MERTHYR HEROES

Written by on 26th May 2021

Strictly Come Dancing’s head judge Shirley Ballas is offering people and projects from Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil the chance to waltz off with a National Lottery Award by getting their nominations in before the Monday 7 June deadline.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery funded people and organisations and they celebrate the inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things in their community, especially during these challenging times.

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.

Flying the flag for Wales last year was 29-year-old Wasem Said, a doorman and mixed martial arts fighter from Butetown, Cardiff, who 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.

In 2018, Shirley Ballas surprised the winners of the Health Project category with their National Lottery Award. Breast Cancer Care’s support app, BECCA, helps people move forward after breast cancer, and Shirley presented the trophy to a group of women in Glasgow, who use the app. The project was close to Shirley’s heart as she had gone through a cancer scare herself around the same time.

Shirley said: “In 2018 I was fortunate enough to visit a National Lottery funded project and see first-hand where funding goes and how valuable it is to those in the community. Its thanks to National Lottery players that £30 million is raised for good causes every week.

“The last 14 months have been extremely tough on us all. But as we hope for better days ahead, we are constantly astounded by the way people and projects responded to adversity with heroic yet simple acts of love, kindness and selflessness that will be long remembered.

“I have been fortunate to witness how hard these local heroes work and how deserving they are of these awards and accolades. They should be celebrated and will only be celebrated if you put them forward- so please get nominating!”

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 www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards . Entries must be received by midnight on 7th June 2021.