Skip to main content


18th September 2015

Comedian and children’s author Julian Clary announces East London writing project, The Ministry of Stories, has been voted the UK’s Best Arts project.

Julian Clary presented volunteers, staff and youngsters from The Ministry of Stories with a National Lottery Award today at its Hoxton headquarters.

The Ministry of Stories received over 3,000 votes to win the Best Arts project, presented in association with Woman’s Weekly magazine, for its writing and mentoring centre in this year’s National Lottery Awards - the annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

The charity wins a £2,000 cash prize, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and will attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, The National Lottery Stars, broadcast on BBC One on 21 September.

Behind a secret door in the shop Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, The Ministry of Stories provides free workshops to local children so they can achieve their creative potential. Every year, the project works with over 1,500 disadvantaged children and trains more than 500 people to become volunteer story mentors.

Julian Clary said: “I’m delighted to present The Ministry of Stories with this well-deserved National Lottery Award. The project is doing a fantastic job of inspiring the next generation, so the children of today can become the best-selling writers of tomorrow.”

“As a children’s author myself, I’m passionate about getting kids to discover the joy of stories. Meeting like-minded volunteers here today has been a real honour. National Lottery players should feel proud to have supported such an ingenious project”

Lucy MacNab, Director of The Ministry of Stories, was overwhelmed to receive the Award: “We are thrilled to have won the public vote for the Best Arts project. It’s a fantastic way of recognising the hard work of all our volunteers, staff and supporters, and of the imagination and courage of all the children who come to the Ministry of Stories.”

“It’s our 5th birthday in November, so this is the best way to celebrate. We’re already looking forward to the next five years of stories, learning and fun and hope this Award inspires more people to get creative with writing."


Notes to editors

Notes to Editors:

• The Ministry of Stories received over £350,000 of National Lottery funding through Arts Council England
• There are seven categories in the National Lottery Awards, reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding: arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary/charity
• On average the National Lottery players raise over £34m each week – making a life changing difference to the nation.
• To date there have been an average of 144 national Lottery grants for every postcode district
• Further information at

For more information and images, please contact:

Natasha Brown on 0207 211 3927 or