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13th September 2016

The winners of this year’s National Lottery Awards will star on BBC One on Monday 12 September after attending a star-studded ceremony to collect their gongs.

The National Lottery Stars 2016, at 10.45pm, will pay tribute to the life-changing work of the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects as voted for by the public.

From more than 600 entries, 49 were selected as finalists in seven categories reflecting the different areas of National Lottery funding.

A Special Achievement Award was also made to honour a dedicated husband and wife gymnastic coaching team Len and Yvonne Arnold who made many sacrifices, including selling their home, to save a sports centre which is now thriving with the aid of National Lottery funding.

Presented by John Barrowman, with the help of a host of celebrity guest presenters, the show will feature a special music performance by singer/songwriter Nathan Sykes, formerly of The Wanted.

The seven winners of the public vote are:

Best Arts Project, presented by actor Ralf Little: Cultural Hubs, a programme which is attracting people of all ages through the doors of libraries in St Helens with art workshops and drama performances.

Best Education Project, presented by TV personality and former Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt: Key to the Door TOYS Project, which helps young parents in the north-west of England share experiences, overcome personal issues and learn news skills.

Best Environment Project, presented by TV presenter and journalist Anita Rani: Grow Wild UK, the country’s biggest ever wild flower campaign which brings together people to transform local spaces with native, pollinator-friendly wild flowers and plants.

Best Health Project, presented by former Crimewatch presenter Rav Wilding: North-West Blood Blood Bikes Lancs & Lakes, a volunteer service which provides out of hours transport services to NHS hospitals by carrying urgent and emergency blood and medical supplies in the north-west of England.

Best Heritage Project, presented by celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott: Lion Salt Works, a museum and a restored historic open-pan salt making site in Cheshire.

Best Sports Project, presented by music and TV presenters Sam and Mark: The Deaf-Friendly Swimming Project, a programme which aims to break down the barriers preventing deaf young people from taking part in swimming.

Best Voluntary/Charity Project, presented by newscaster and TV presenter Katie Derham: London Taxi Benevolent Association for War Disabled, also known as the Taxi Charity, this organisation, run almost entirely by working or retired London taxi drivers, provides outings and events for war heroes.

And the Special Achievement Award, presented by Olympic Gold medal-winning gymnast Max Whitlock, will go to Len and Yvonne Arnold, who sold their home to fund a gym which was later used as a training centre for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

John Barrowman MBE said: “The National Lottery Awards celebrate the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects as voted for by the public. They recognise the legends behind these amazing organisations – ordinary people who do extraordinary things with National Lottery funding.

“We have had a golden summer in 2016 with the success of Team GB. It is fitting that we carry on the celebrations by honouring other people and projects who are making a life-changing impact with National Lottery funding throughout the UK.

“This year’s winners have raised the bar, yet again, and National Lottery players can be very proud to have contributed towards their fine work.”

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.

Winners receive a £3,000 cash prize, in addition to a National Lottery Awards trophy.

National Lottery players have been changing lives for 21 years - they currently raise more than £36 million every week for projects across the UK. The National Lottery Awards recognise and celebrate the difference that Lottery-funded organisations, both large and small, make to local communities the length and breadth of the UK.