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Drama for Actress Cheryl Fergison as she heads back to the East End to celebrate the 500,000th National Lottery grant with Young and Talented

16th Tachwedd 2016

Cheryl Fergison best known for roles in Little Britain, Bad Girls , Little Miss Jocelyn and most famously as “Heather Trott” in the BBC’s long running serial drama “EastEnders” paid a visit to Bethnal Green’s Young and Talented Stage school to mark the National Lottery’s half a millionth grant award.

As of November 2016, 500,000 National Lottery grants have been awarded across the UK since The National Lottery began in 1994.

Young and Talented Stage School was awarded their own grant of £15,000 for their Take The Stage Youth Theatre Festival in July 2016. Young and Talented is a theatre school with a difference. Their sessions embrace a diverse group of young people from all socio-economic backgrounds, religions and ethnicities and provide them with high calibre coaching and opportunities. Young and Talented has been nurturing and developing young people for stage and screen since 2004. In March 2012 their group, The Real Deal, won BBC TV’s Sport Relief Does Glee Club 2012.

Cheryl Fergison said: “I am delighted to be celebrating the National Lottery’s 500,000th grant with a visit to the Young and Talented Stage School, which through lottery funding has helped offer splendid opportunities and this great project has benefitted hardworking students and it shows the positive impact and diversity of funding…”

Founder and Artistic Director, Suzann Robinson of Young and Talented said. “On behalf of everyone at Young and Talented I would like to say a huge thank you to The National Lottery. The grant has allowed us to reach more young people than ever before and continue our work across East London boroughs. The students are excited to have a celebrity guest join Young and Talented to celebrate our project! This simple gesture has already raised their aspirations.”

The London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney have jointly received a total of £531,979, 881 of lottery funding to date. Funding has gone to a variety of projects, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets for example Thomas Buxton Primary School, received £10,000 of funding, which was used to create an adventure fitness trail for pupils living in a residential area that lacks accessible outdoor play spaces, which has created a new outdoor play resource for children to enjoy. Cardboard Citizens, a performing-arts centred project to support homeless people and those at risk of homelessness across London and England-wide received £463,716 in lottery funding in 2015. The scheme uses theatre as a tool to explore difficult issues through forum theatre tours, shared storytelling and interaction with audiences. The scheme also provides accredited workshops and access to increased qualifications including English and Maths and access to employment.

In Hackney, Contact A Family received £418,637 of funding, the charity provides one-to-one benefits advice for parents with disabled children via telephone and email and provides guidance in print and online to de-mystify the benefits system for over 150,000 parents. Sustain: The Alliance for Better Food & Farming, received £50,000 of funding this year, this development funding was used to help establish an alliance of groups aiming to ensure everyone in the UK has access to good food, bringing together major national organisations working on food and poverty . The grant was used for staff costs, travel, project design, IT and meetings.

A number of special events will be going on around the country to celebrate the 500,000th National Lottery grant of £9,950, which is going to Ipswich 4 Family, a voluntary organisation which provides family mentors to parents who need a little extra support bringing up their children.

The organisation was set up by a group of local churches, but works with local parents of any faith referred to them by health professionals and schools. The National Lottery grant will help to train more volunteers to offer friendship, and practical and emotional support to parents.

For more information please contact:

Jay Epega 020 7211 1931 / 07505 045 221

Nodiadau i olygyddion

Notes to editors

On average, National Lottery players raise £36 million for arts, sport, heritage and community projects across the UK every week by playing National Lottery games.

Camelot UK Lotteries Limited is the licensed operator of The National Lottery. National Lottery games include Lotto, EuroMillions and the GameStore range of Scratchcards and online Instant Win Games.

The National Lottery has so far given away over £57 billion in prizes and created more than 4,000 millionaires or multi-millionaires since its launch in 1994.

Parliament has determined the money is awarded to the sectors in these percentages: arts, sport, heritage 20 percent each, and 40 percent to the voluntary sector.

Money raised by National Lottery players is distributed by 12 National Lottery distributors:

Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, British Film Institute (BFI), The Big Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Sport England, Sport Northern Ireland, SportScotland, Sport Wales, UK Sport.

The Big Lottery Fund is the National Lottery distributor responsible for awarding £9,950 to Ipswich 4 Family.