Vote for local projects in Lottery Awards

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Two local organisations, Foyle First Responders and The Playhouse are through to the finals of this year’s National Lottery Awards and they need your vote to win.

The Awards involve an annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects, and they recognise and celebrate the difference that Lottery-funded projects make to communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Awards have seven categories - each reflecting an area of Lottery funding: Sport; Heritage; Arts; Environment; Health; Education.

The Playhouse is one of only seven projects to make it through to the finals in the Best Heritage Project category and ‘Heart of Foyle’ First Responder Taxi Scheme have been nominated in the Health category.

Foyle First Responder Scheme, as it’s known locally, trains and equips taxi drivers to deliver first aid or medical assistance in emergency situations. Their volunteers and drivers are often first on the scene of emergencies and their intervention can save vital minutes and indeed lives by beginning CPR or defibrillation before an ambulance arrives.

The Playhouse buildings are considered one of the best examples in Northern Ireland of how listed properties can be sympathetically restored and fused with modern design and they have won numerous awards, including a British Urban Regeneration Award.

The winning project in each category will receive national recognition on a star-studded BBC One TV show in early September and, in addition to the Lottery funding they have already received, will receive a £3,000 cash prize to spend on their project.

Eamonn O’Donnell of the Foyle First Responder Scheme said: “It is a fantastic achievement for the Foyle First Responder scheme to reach the finals of the National Lottery Awards. This project really does make a life-changing difference and we hope the public get behind us and make us a National Lottery Award winner.”

Niall McCaughan, Chief Executive of the Playhouse, added: “National Lottery funding helped restore our former Grade II listed school buildings which had fallen into a major state of disrepair and we really hope the public will recognise the enormous amount of good work that goes on at the Playhouse and vote for us as we strive to win a National Lottery Award.”

Voting for the finals started earlier this and ends at midnight on Wednesday, 20 July. To register your vote for both projects log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or call 0844 836 9702 for Foyle First Responder Scheme and 0844 836 9670 for The Playhouse.