Celebs out in force as four HLF projects scoop prestigious award

Singer Katherine Jenkins presents Best Education Project award to schoolchildren
Four brilliant HLF-supported projects have been crowned winners at this year’s National Lottery Awards.

Best Heritage Project - Heritage Ability

Heritage Ability is a project run by a small charity, Living Options Devon. With the unwavering support of 320 volunteers, Heritage Ability is helping 20 heritage destinations in the South West become more accessible.

Actress Sally Phillips broke the news of the win to a group of local people who have benefitted from increased accessibility thanks to the Heritage Ability project. She described it as “a shining example of the life-changing impact National Lottery funding can have and the possibilities that exist to make our heritage more accessible and inclusive for everyone to enjoy”.

Best Environment Project - Polli:Nation

Polli:Nation is a three-year UK-wide biodiversity and education project which encourages schoolchildren to turn their school grounds into pollinator-friendly environments and to learn more about the range and role of pollinating insects and how they can help them.

Actor Nitin Ganatra, who plays Masood Ahmed in the BBC's EastEnders, swapped Albert Square for Cumran Primary School in Clough, Co Down – one of 260 schools taking part in the three-year UK-wide project - to share the good news.

Nitin said: “I have been really impressed by the passion, knowledge and enthusiasm of the children involved. The importance of pollinating insects is often overlooked but this scheme is carrying out vital work in educating young people and ensuring the protection of these significant species. National Lottery players should be proud.”

Best Education Project - Armistice Cantata

Marking 100 years since the end of the First World War, the two-year project led by Goldies Cymru encourages primary schools to open their doors to older people; the Armistice Cantata, developed and performed by the children themselves, is a fitting legacy.

The 30-minute production, which includes popular songs from the First World War, is now being rolled out to a number of schools across England and Wales with more than 7,000 children and 800 older people from the Goldies charity taking part.

Fittingly, the award was presented by Welsh singer Katherine Jenkins, dubbed the new “Forces Sweetheart” for her performances for troops across the globe.

Best Arts Project - Hull City of Culture

“It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £30million each week for good causes, that amazing projects like Hull City of Culture 2017, are possible.”Actor Christopher Eccleston

Hull’s year as the UK’s City of Culture transformed the city’s cultural and economic landscape and attracted millions of people to a vibrant programme of events. The programme attracted an audience of 5.3million over 2,800 events, cultural activities, installations and exhibitions. An army of 2,400 volunteers kept events running smoothly.

Actor Christopher Eccleston, who presented the award, said: “It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise £30million each week for good causes, that amazing projects like Hull City of Culture 2017, are possible.”

All the winners received a £5,000 cash prize and a National Lottery Awards trophy.

The glittering National Lottery Awards show, hosted by Ore Oduba, is on BBC1 on Wednesday 26 September.

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