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12th Rhagfyr 2018

A Derry taxi driver who helps save lives through his work as a first responder is to feature as part of a new campaign celebrating the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.

Sean Dillon’s exploits has been viewed thousands of times online after featuring in the National Lottery Legend series which has been specially developed in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

Foyle First Responders used National Lottery funding awarded to the North West Taxi Proprietors to train and equip taxi drivers to deliver first aid or medical assistance in emergency situations. Volunteers and drivers like Sean are often first on the scene of emergencies and their intervention can save vital minutes and lives before an ambulance arrives.

Taxi drivers in Derry were first prompted to act in response to the high incidences of suicides in the city, with drivers like Sean trained to talk to those in distress and carrying throw-lines in their vehicles. The first responder scheme built on this initiative.

Sean’s story was selected by young Derry film maker Ronan Corrigan and his partner Hope Kemp, who graduates of the BFI’s educational programmes which are supported by National Lottery funding. During the project they were mentored by Natalie Walter, the current series director of the Channel 4 Show, ‘A Very British Country House.’

Their film, which followed Sean during a night’s work in Derry and focusses on tackling mental health issues in the city, was premiered at a special screening at the BFI Southbank attended by BAFTA award winning director Lucy Cohen, Dunkirk actor Charley Palmer Rothwell, leading film critic Rhianna Dhillon and a host of leading figures from the film industry.

Ronan said: “I loved growing up in Derry and I am very proud to come from here.

“However, the story of people jumping from the bridges after nights out is one that repeats itself far too often. I had wanted to make a film about the topic for a while but just did not know how.

“But when we met Sean, his story of everyday people tackling issues like the city’s mental health crisis in any way they can, was one I thought had to be told.”

Jonathan Tuchner, director of the National Lottery Promotions Unit, added: “National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes across the UK. Our National Lottery legends come in all shapes and forms. They are the ordinary people in our society who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. The National Lottery helps amazing people like Sean who carries out life-saving work.

National Lottery players can be very proud to have helped support such an amazing project.”

Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI, said: “For thousands of young people, the idea of a career in film has been an impossible dream but now in its seventh year, the BFI Film Academy is changing that. The National Lottery Legends film Sean Dillon – Foyle First Repsonder by filmmakers Ronan Corrigan from Derry and Hope Kemp from Reigate, Surrey, is a terrific example of how the Academy is helping young people develop skills and careers in film and the related industries whilst shining a light on some of the inspirational people who do amazing things in their own communities with National Lottery funding.

“Some 5,000 young people aged 16-19 have gone through the doors of the BFI Film Academy thanks to the support of the National Lottery, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and the many individuals from the industry who enthusiastically share their experience and offer guidance to students.”

The project appears in the National Lottery Legend online campaign which celebrates the life changing difference made by people and project across the UK.

The Foyle First Responder story and that of more National Lottery Legends can be viewed here:

Nodiadau i olygyddion

National Lottery players raise £30m each week for good causes. For more information on good causes in your area please visit

About the BFI Film Academy

The BFI Film Academy aims to help train and inspire the next generation of UK filmmakers, supporting talented and committed young people aged 16-19 to develop the commercial and cultural knowledge and skills to help make a career in film a reality.

The BFI Film Academy offers training for every film industry role, from writing and directing through to production, sound design, editing and camera, and provides learning around film history and cinematic storytelling to inspire an appreciation of film culture in the round.

The BFI Film Academy contributes to a core aim of the BFI’s 2022 strategy which aims to provide everyone with the opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with film; to create a clear progression paths for talented young people and to ensure that film is celebrated and explored in formal education.

The BFI Film Academy is supported by the Department for Education in England, the National Lottery, Northern Ireland and Screen Scotland.

About the BFI

At the BFI we support, nurture and promote the art of film, television and the moving image. A charity, funded by Government and earned income, and a distributor of National Lottery funds, we are at the heart of the UK’s fast growing screen industries, protecting the past and shaping their future across the UK. We work in partnership with cultural organisations, government and industry to make this happen. We bring our world-class cultural programmes and unrivalled national collections to audiences everywhere, and promote learning about our art-form and its heritage. We support the future success of film in the UK by nurturing new voices and fresh ideas, enriching independent British film culture, challenging the UK's screen industries to innovate and defining Britain and its storytellers in the 21st century.

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Josh Berger CBE.

Pic caption:

Derry taxi driver Sean Dillon (centre) who also works as a first responder with film makers Ronan Corrigan (second left) and Hope Kemp (second right)

at premiere event hosted by the National Lottery and the BFI to celebrate their inclusion in the National Lottery Legend campaign. Also pictured are BAFTA award winning director Lucy Cohen and Dunkirk actor Charley Palmer Rothwell.

For more information please contact:

Ruairi O’Kane on 07788612804 or email Ruairi.o’