Two projects from Ipswich are in the running for this year’s prestigious National Lottery Awards and an appearance on national television.
The National Lottery Awards reward and recognise the inspirational work of National Lottery funded projects across all sections of society. National Lottery players raise more than £35 million for good causes throughout the UK every week.
With a coveted National Lottery Award trophy and a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project up for grabs, Brainy Dogs and Red Rose Chain Community Theatre are now appealing for public support to make it to the star-studded awards ceremony in September which will be broadcast on BBC One.
Red Rose Chain Community Theatre provides a ground breaking creative environment for people recovering from drug addiction. It was started in response to the murder of five women sex workers in Ipswich. Theatre workshops, performances, volunteering and work placements provide an inspiration and a purpose in life for people giving up drugs.
Joanna Carrick, Red Rose Chain Community Theatre Artistic Director, said:
“We are thrilled to have made it through to the finals of this year’s National Lottery Awards. Our work makes such a difference to so many people, helping them lead happier and more fulfilled lives. We hope to get the votes needed to win this award – it would be tremendous recognition for our life-changing work.”
To register your vote for Red Rose Chain Community Theatre call 0844 836 9674 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards
Luckily the two local projects won’t be going head-to-head as they have reached the final in different categories. Red Rose Chain Community Theatre has been nominated as Best Arts Project while Brainy Dogs is hoping to clinch the title of Best Health Project.
Brainy Dogs, run by Headway Ipswich and East Suffolk, trains dogs to be companions for people with neurological conditions – helping those struggling to cope with personality changes feel loved. The spin-offs from the project are far reaching. Prisoners from Hollesley Bay Open Prison get involved in training the dogs and dogs from Felixstowe Blue Cross rehoming centre get new homes and owners.
Helen Fairweather, Chief Executive of Headway Ipswich and East Suffolk, said the work of Brainy Dogs is hugely beneficial for people with brain injuries: “People tend to lose friends due to a change in personality brought on by their condition, yet they still need to love and be loved. Dogs fill this gap. Prisoners involved in the project also find it very rewarding. They gain knowledge and self worth, meet new people and give back to society for some of the bad things they’ve done.”
To register your vote for Brainy Dogs call 0844 836 9698 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards
TV star and actor John Barrowman, presenter of The National Lottery Awards, said: “National Lottery funding helps transform communities and changes lives for the better. National Lottery players should be proud that their contribution to Good Causes makes such a positive difference to arts, sport, heritage, community and voluntary groups across the UK.
“I would urge everyone to get behind Brainy Dogs and Red Rose Chain Community Theatre and do their bit to ensure they get national recognition for their invaluable contribution to society.”
Jackie O’Sullivan of National Lottery Good Causes added: “We have been overwhelmed by the number and standard of entries for The National Lottery Awards. The impact of National Lottery funding at the heart of communities cannot be over-estimated. National Lottery players raise over £35 million every week for good causes.
“The 49 good causes competing for public votes are just a snapshot of the life-changing impact of National Lottery funding. Now for the hard part, every one of the nominees is a winner in their own right but it is up to you, the public, to get behind your favourite good cause and make sure they pick up a top prize.”
There are seven nominees in seven categories in the Awards, reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health, environment, education and voluntary/charity.
Voting for The National Lottery Awards starts at 9am on Wednesday 19 June and ends at midnight on Wednesday 24 July. You can vote at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards and follow voting on twitter: hashtag #NLAwards