Life changing

National Lottery Award winners – meet the magnificent 7

Incredible causes from across the UK came together for this year's National Lottery Awards, taking place at a star-studded event in London.

Actors Martin Clunes, Jessica Hynes and Eastenders' Richard Blackwood joined pop sensations Martin Kemp, Kimberley Walsh and Shane Lynch to celebrate the incredible work being done by National Lottery funded good causes.

The public voted for winners in categories covering art, education, environment, health, heritage, sport and charity.

Arts – The Man Engine

The colossal Man Engine has become an icon of Cornwall and is the largest mechanical puppet ever built in Britain. When he 'transforms' he stands at 11.2m tall (that's 2.5 double-decker buses!) but, The Man Engine will only react if enough people sing! Last summer, community choirs and spectators sang in Cornish to help crank the Man Engine into life.

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Education – Magi Ann

Generations of Welsh children have learned to read their native language with the help of Magi Ann, a character created by teacher Mena Evans. With National Lottery support, the beloved books have been brought to life through six free apps. Helping parents and children enjoy Welsh together through digital, there have been over 92,000 downloads so far.

Read more about Magi Ann

Environment – Avalon Marshes

The Avalon Marshes is a beautiful piece of Somerset with meadows, woods, reed-beds and lakes and the mystical Isle of Avalon with Glastonbury Tor. Covering 60 projects over four years, National Lottery funding has helped conserve the unique landscape, heritage and wildlife of the area, as well as train and engage the local community, attracting thousands of participants.

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Health – HeadSmart

Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer of children and teenagers in the UK. HeadSmart is reducing diagnosis times by informing and empowering parents, teenagers and healthcare professionals to recognise the signs and symptoms. National Lottery funding has helped reduce the average diagnosis time from 13 weeks to 6.5 weeks, saving lives and reducing the chance of long-term disability.

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Heritage – We're here because we're here

On 1st July 2016, people across the UK were stopped in their tracks by the 'ghosts' of over 1,400 soldiers killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, exactly 100 years earlier. Commissioned by 14-18 NOW, volunteers dressed in historically accurate uniforms appeared unexpectedly at public locations, creating a unique modern memorial to this tragic event.

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Sport – Parkrun Visually Impaired (VI)

Parkrun's VI scheme is a project helping support visually impaired people be more active, providing a safe environment for them to run safely and socialise. National Lottery funding has helped parkrun to host taster days to introduce new visually impaired runners to parkrun. So far, over 150 people with a visual impairment have benefitted.

Read more about Parkrun VI

Charity – Bravehound

Some veterans leave the Armed Forces facing real difficulties, in particular those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Bravehound matches dogs with veterans, providing companionship helping them adjust to civilian life. The project's first Bravehound, Irma, brought joy back into veteran Paul Wilkie's life. Tormented by recurrent nightmares, Paul is now woken by his trusty spaniel, licking his face.

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Over the last 23 years we’ve created over 5,000 millionaires and funded more than 535,000 National Lottery projects - discover more life-changing stories.

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