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Voting Now Open For The 2018 National Lottery Awards

Voting Now Open For The 2018 National Lottery Awards
Updated: Monday 20th August 2018

Voting is now open for the 2018 National Lottery Awards, giving the public the chance to decide what their favourite National Lottery-funded projects have been this year. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the positive differences that these projects have made to people, neighbourhoods and communities across the United Kingdom.  

Seven Different Categories

Launched in 2003, there are seven different award categories to vote in this year – arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport and voluntary/charity – with seven finalists shortlisted in each group. The winning project in each category will receive a £5,000 prize and a trophy, and will be invited to attend the awards ceremony, which will be aired by the BBC on Wednesday 26th September.

Recognition For Blind Tennis Programme

The Blind Tennis Programme at Windsor Tennis Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is one of the nominations in the sport category. Launched in 2016 with the help of National Lottery funding, the club has gone from strength-to-strength over the past two years, specifically catering for those with sight loss, allowing them access to the resources and facilities needed to be able to participate in the sport.

Blind tennis players compete on a modified court with adapted equipment, including altered rackets and balls with bells inside them. The project is run by Sport Northern Ireland and Disability Sport Northern Ireland. The club’s fantastic efforts have now been recognised with their nomination on the seven-strong shortlist.

Judith Brennan, Active Clubs Coordinator at Disability Sport Northern Ireland, said: "We are delighted to learn that the Blind Tennis at Windsor Tennis, Belfast, has reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards 2018. The programme is proving to be a trailblazer for the sport in Northern Ireland, providing a platform for players to compete recreationally and nationally. We have achieved so much in such a short space of time and we would dearly love to win a National Lottery Award for Best Sports project.”

Funding Can Help Run Drug And Alcohol Workshops

HURT (Have Your Tomorrows) is one of the stand-out nominations in the Health category, a charity offering family support and suicide prevention for those suffering from addiction in Derry, Northern Ireland. They’ve made the final shortlist from over 700 nominations and have received £1.6 million in National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund to run their inspirational scheme.

Sadie O’Reilly, HURT founder and co-ordinator, said: “Everyone at HURT is delighted to have reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards 2018. Funding from the National Lottery has allowed our organisation to run talks and workshops about drugs and alcohol to hundreds of young people in schools across the north-west and work thousands of people with addiction issues.”

How Does The Good Causes Fund Work?

Twenty-eight pence of every £1 spent on tickets for National Lottery games is put towards The Good Causes Fund, and an average of £30 million is raised each week by lottery players for a variety of projects throughout the UK. The contribution from lotteries including EuroMillions, Lotto, HotPicks and Thunderball goes a long way to helping social and charitable organisations such as The Blind Tennis Programme and HURT.

There are 12 distributors who decide whether to award funding for a project, including the Big Lottery Fund who were influential in generating the money for HURT. For the financial year ending 31st March 2017, 40% of money from the Good Causes fund was given to health, education, environment and charitable causes, with 20% given to each of the sports, arts and heritage sectors. Find out more information about exactly where the funding goes on our Lottery Good Causes page.

If you’ve already bought your tickets for tomorrow’s £5 million Lotto draw from an authorised ticket retailer, then some of your money will have gone towards this brilliant initiative. For those yet to pick their numbers, there’s still time to join a syndicate online ahead of this weekend’s draws.

Published: Friday 29th June 2018

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