Flintshire duo shortlisted in National Lottery Awards 2023
Two inspirational people from Flintshire are in line for recognition after being nominated in the ‘outstanding individuals’ section of the 2023 National Lottery Awards, amidst an array of nearly 4,000 nominees.
The annual awards celebrate everyday people and organisations who make an extraordinary difference in their communities, with the assistance of National Lottery funding.
Brian Valentine, a devoted father from Shotton, and Mandy Giddins, a nurse from Flint, have both been recognised for their unwavering dedication to community improvement.
Brian, inspired by his deaf son’s love for football, set up the inclusive Shotton Town United Junior Football Club.
Mandy, motivated by the loss of her son to a rare blood disease and cancer, founded Giddo’s Gift, a charity providing practical support and special gifts to young cancer patients.
Brian’s club, established in 2015 and supported by National Lottery funding from Sport Wales, has grown to serve over 100 children weekly, offering adapted training sessions for the hard of hearing and deaf.
“Being involved in football offers so many benefits, from mental health and wellbeing to physical fitness,” Brian remarked, stating that he views the nomination as recognition of the team’s important work.
Mandy’s charity, Giddo’s Gift, has raised more than £350,000, supporting 13 to 24-year-olds with cancer across North Wales and Northwest England.
It fulfils around 50 children’s wishes annually, alongside other support services. Overwhelmed by the nomination, Mandy dedicated it to those battling cancer and the memory of her son, Jordan.
This year’s National Lottery Awards recognise unsung heroes across various categories, including Culture, Arts & Film, Heritage, Sport, Community/Charity, Environment, Young Hero Award, and Special Achievement. In addition to the individuals category, an online public vote will decide the National Lottery’s UK Project of the Year.
The winners, to be decided by a panel comprising representatives of The National Lottery and partners across the UK, will be announced in the Autumn.
Each will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.
“The National Lottery Awards honour those who have gone the extra mile to make a difference in their communities,” Jonathan Tuchner, from The National Lottery, said.
“Thanks to National Lottery players and the £30 million raised each week for good causes, thousands of individuals throughout the UK have made an incredible difference in their areas.”
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