Belfast Telegraph

Cast your vote for Northern Ireland's three National Lottery Award hopefuls

Local good causes call on public support as finish line in sight for Hands that Talk, Community Horticultural Enterprise and We Were Brothers

Public voting opens today for the final 22 projects, including three from Northern Ireland, which have made it through to the finals of the 2011 National Lottery Awards.

They include a project that improves the quality of life for deaf people in Derry; an allotment garden helping the most vulnerable to learn about their environment and health, also in Derry; and a project remembering the heritage of the soldiers who served in WW1, from Fermanagh.

In its eighth year, the National Lottery Awards recognise the difference that Lottery-funded projects – both big and small – make to local communities, and celebrate the achievements of the people behind them. All the projects in the running have already received Lottery funding and the Awards celebrate how they have put that money to good use.

After a record number of entries, just 70 projects were shortlisted to go through to the semi-finals. Now just 22 remain in the Final stage of the National Lottery Awards, where the public have only 3 weeks to show their support for their favourite project, with voting closing at midday on 26th September.

The seven categories in the National Lottery Awards reflect the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, sport, heritage, health (in association with iVillage.co.uk), environment, education (in association with Best magazine) and voluntary/charity. There can only be one winner from each category and they will receive national recognition at a star-studded event, broadcast on national TV later this year, as well as a £2,000 cash prize[1] to spend on their project. More information can be found at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk



The three Northern Ireland-based projects to have made it to the final stage are:

Community Horticultural Enterprise, Derry – competing for Best Education Project (in association with Best magazine)





Community Horticultural Enterprise started off as an allotment garden in 2006 and is now providing training courses, workshops and classes for local people most in need, teaching them about the links between their environment, their health and their quality of life. National Lottery funding enabled the programme to get started by paying for the community allotment, soil, wood, initial advertising and a concrete path for wheelchair users. As the programme expanded, further funding went towards growing the number of workshops available and expanding the garden.



To vote for Community Horticultural Enterprise call: 0844 836 9680 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards







Hands that Talk, Derry – competing in Best Voluntary/Charity Project





Hands that Talk improves the quality of life for deaf people by providing access to employment, education and services. It has also enabled the deaf community to experience a much more deaf aware society where communication barriers have been broken down and opportunities now exist for personal growth and confidence building.



Thanks to National Lottery funding, Hands that Talk has three full-time and two part-time members of staff who are working to improve the lives of deaf people in Northern Ireland. It has enabled the centre to provide deaf awareness courses, sign language classes from basic level to NVQ Level 4 and a Junior Trainee Interpreting Course to help train new interpreters.



To vote for Hands that Talk call: 0844 836 9736 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards





We Were Brothers: WW1 A Shared Heritage, Fermanagh – competing in Best Heritage Project



“We Were Brothers: WW1 A Shared Heritage” is a play, a DVD, a book, an interactive website and a youth project remembering the heritage of soldiers from both the Unionist and the Nationalist traditions who served side by side with the British army in WW1, as members of the Ulster Battalions or the Irish Volunteers.



National Lottery funding enabled the project to research material, from which they wrote the play and performed it with a ‘professional’ local cast. The project also produced a DVD of the performance and created printed material to accompany it.



To vote for We Were Brothers: WW1 A Shared Heritage call: 0844 836 9717 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards

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