The Black Swimming Association; Welsh dementia charity Forget-me-not Chorus; The Jac Lewis Foundation mental health charity in Ammanford; and The Pembroke Dock Falcon Exhibition – which highlights the role the town of Pembroke Dock played in building the Star Wars films’ iconic Millennium Falcon starship during the 1970’s – have all reached the public voting stage in this year’ National Lottery Awards.
The National Lottery Awards celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding and attracted more than 1,300 entries this year.
The Welsh quartet are among 17 shortlisted finalists from across the UK, who will compete in a four-week public vote to be named the National Lottery Project of the Year. Winners will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their project and an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy.
The PEMBROKE DOCK FALCON EXHIBITION, curated by the Pembroke Dock Heritage Trust and which opened with the support of National Lottery funding for the first time in May this year, tells the unique story of how shipbuilders in the small town of Pembroke Dock in west Wales were commissioned to build the Star Wars films’ iconic Millennium Falcon starship during the 1970’s. The permanent exhibition tells the story of how the iconic 23-tonne prop was built in a hangar over three months.
Mental Health charity, The JAC LEWIS FOUNDATION, was set up in memory of a young footballer and popular member of the Ammanford community who tragically took his own life at the age of 27 in 2019 after five years of struggling with his mental health. The charity set up in his honour aims to help people obtain quick access to mental health support, as well as providing counselling for families bereaved by suicide. With National Lottery support, the charity has been able to establish a Wales-wide bereavement by suicide support service, which has helped over 1600 adults and children since opening in December 2020.
Described as a ‘spa for the soul’, leading Welsh dementia charity, FORGET-ME-NOT CHORUS, brings the joy of singing to people living with dementia and those who support them. Since 2011, the National Lottery funded charity, which began in Cardiff, has run weekly singing sessions for people with dementia and has since expanded its reach pan Wales and to the rest of the UK. Through five community choirs, twenty ‘Singing Strong’ care home choirs, a library of free pre-recorded singing sessions, and a hospital service – the team of highly skilled professional musicians reach over 1000 people a week.
The BLACK SWIMMING ASSOCIATION (BSA) was co-founded by Welsh woman, Seren Jones, to encourage more people in African, Caribbean and Asian communities to engage in swimming and water safety education. Working closely with strategic aquatic, water safety and education partners across the UK, the BSA has created a strong partnership with National Lottery funding distributor, Sport Wales, to make swimming and other aquatic sports more ethnically diverse and inclusive. This is the first time a project has focused on this issue in Wales.
Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery told us…..
“We are delighted to have received these outstanding nominations highlighting the excellent work that National Lottery-funded projects are doing in their local areas. In these challenging times, it is heartening to see so many people and projects dedicating their time and energy into giving something back to their communities.
“It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that brilliant projects like these are able to do their incredible work and with the support of the public they could be named National Lottery Project of the Year 2022.”
To vote for any of these projects please go HERE or simply use the Twitter hashtag #NLABlackSwimmingAssociation – #NLAForgetMeNot – #NLAJacLewis and #NLApembrokedockfalcon Voting runs from 9am on 7th September until 5pm on 7th October.