Round of applause for the nation’s favourite National Lottery projects
As presenter Myleene Klass took to the stage in a floor length silver gown, project guests,
celebrities and staff all took a deep breath as the live transmission began. The star studded National Lottery Awards 2011 ceremony saw several Big Lottery Fund projects triumph as the public voted for their favourite Lottery funded initiatives.
The awards give people the chance to see how the £30m raised by lottery players each week is helping good causes across the UK.
There were a total of 22 finalist projects broken into seven categories: health, environment, arts, sport, heritage, voluntary/charity and education.
First up was the award for Best Health Project, in association with ivillage.co.uk, presented by psychologist and Strictly star Pamela Stephenson. And it was the first of many wins for BIG funded groups, as Sense Scotland took home the prize for their work with deaf, blind and disabled children, adults and families throughout Scotland.
Other BIG winners included the Green Valley Centre in Wales, taking home the Best Environment Project gong. The project transformed a derelict wilderness into a four-and-a-half-acre landscaped community green space in the Cynon Valley. Next up was Hands That Talk, a project to improve the lives of deaf people in Northern Ireland. Their award was presented by newest Dragon in the Den Hilary Devey, who expressed her admiration for the excellent work all the shortlisted projects in the Best Voluntary/Community Sector Project category were doing.
Best Education Project went to the Include Duchenne project run by BIG funded Action Duchenne. The project focuses on the behavioural and learning difficulties that often affect children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a serious and progressive muscle wasting condition. Children follow an online literacy programme based on the theme of time travel.
It was an emotional night for many of the projects on the shortlist, and the winners and runners up all thanked the National Lottery for the incredible difference their grants had enabled them to make to the lives of local people.
As the live transmission drew to an end, project guests and celebrities alike continued the celebrations at the party, where many new partnerships and friendships were formed.
The evening was a brilliant demonstration of the good work being done across the UK with the good cause money raised by National Lottery players.