September 20, 2023
Jess Neal has been shortlisted in the Community and Charity category as a result of her incredible work in the local community.
Jess and her husband Lee's beloved son Ted passed away from a rare and aggressive cancer when he was just 16 months old. Yet the extraordinary pair turned their heartache into something hopeful, setting up The Little Ted Foundation in his honour in 2022.
Since it was established, the organisation has received £10,000 of National Lottery funding, which helps to support other bereaved families and those with seriously ill children. As well as 'Help in Hospital' and 'Memory Making' grants, Jess and her team also offer funding for families to stay at Little Ted's Lodge in the foothills of Snowdon, so far awarding 171 grants and 29 getaways.
"I feel a bit overwhelmed and emotional about receiving a nomination, but it's nice that someone has taken the time to recognise the work we're doing, which we believe will make a big difference to families like ours."
The National Lottery Awards are the annual celebration of the ordinary individuals and organisations who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding.
This year, 3,780 people and projects were nominated for the work they have carried out with support from The National Lottery. Over the summer, a panel made up of representatives from The National Lottery and partners will decide the winners in each of the individual categories.
Winners will be revealed in the autumn and will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.
Jonathan Tuchner, from The National Lottery, said:
"The National Lottery Awards honour those who have stepped up and have gone the extra mile to make a difference in their communities, especially during these challenging times. Thanks to National Lottery players and the £30 million raised each week for good causes, thousands of individuals and projects throughout the UK have been making an incredible difference in their areas, and this is our chance to highlight and celebrate the exceptional work of these selfless local heroes."
The outstanding individuals' section of this year's National Lottery Awards will honour unsung heroes in the following categories:
There will also be a Special Achievement Award to celebrate an exceptional individual whose selfless dedication has improved the lives of the people around them
In addition to the outstanding individuals' category, an online public vote will be held this year to find The National Lottery UK Project of the Year. Nominees will be whittled down to 17 finalists, with a UK-wide public vote in September deciding the winner.