The two local groups involved in the ‘Vote for Both’ campaign in the National Lottery’s Good Causes Awards visited Stormont this week to enlist the support of Assembly members.
Members of the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum and Achieving Something Special met MLAs in Stormont’s Great Hall during a reception hosted by Foyle Assemblyman Raymond McCartney.
Three Executive ministers, John O’Dowd, Jonathon Bell, and Carál Ní Chuilín, and six other MLAs; Mr McCartney, Maeve McLaughlin, Colum Eastwood, Mark H Durkan, Adrian McQuillan, Cathal Ó hÓisín, and Assembly Speaker William Hay also attended.
Mr McCartney said the event was a great success and encouraged people to get behind both groups.
“I want to acknowledge the work of the Speaker of the House William Hay for making it possible that this event took place in Great Hall
“The event was designed to support and acknowledge the fact that two Derry-based projects have become finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards to be held in London in December.
Both Bogside & Brandywell Health Forum - a Healthy Living Centre based in Derry’s Gasyard Centre - and Achieving Something Special – an arts and special needs arts project - are the North’s only two projects represented in the prestigious finals.
“Thus far local newspapers and Derry City Council, plus thousands of local people have weighed in behind them.
“The fact that we have two finalists from Derry is testimony to the excellent quality of work being generated with the community and special needs education sectors within the city and both deserve massive support. We would urge people everywhere, not just in Derry or the northwest, to lift their phones and make the call or get on line and vote,” he said.
Foyle SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood also gave his support to the groups. “It was great to see such a large crowd from both the Brandywell and Bogside Health Forum and Achieving Something Special at Stormont on Tuesday. Even amongst the hustle and bustle of a sitting day at Stormont their musical performances attracted great interest from elected representatives.
“Too often the work of these organisations, because of their solely selfless endeavour, is only known and acknowledged locally. The National Lottery’s Good Causes Awards gives us the chance to share the tremendous work of these organisations with a wider audience and to give thanks and recognition for it.
“I would urge everyone in Derry and beyond to get behind these organisations and register their vote as a thanks for their continued work. I would urge everyone to Vote for Both,” he said.
People can vote for both projects by telephone or online. To vote for the Brandywell and Bogside Health Forum call 08448369702 and to vote for Achieving Something Special call 08448369670.
Voters can also vote online by visiting www,lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards