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Issue:- 1 May 2014


'JUST Imagine' campaign asks the nation to imagine how different lives might be without the £31 billion raised by The National Lottery.  RICKY Tomlinson has launched a new animated film on behalf of the National Lottery with star turns from Olympic athletes Chris Hoy and gymnast Beth Tweddle.

The short film, starring Ricky as the narrator, dramatises how every person in the UK has been touched by Lottery funding in one way or another and features local Liverpool based project, Sefton Park.  The 90 second animation has been created by BAFTA award winning animation studio Blue Zoo, which has itself received National Lottery funding. The story connects people from different regions of the UK and features Lottery funded projects across the arts, sport, heritage and voluntary sectors; from a young gymnast inspired by the 2012 London Olympic Games to schoolchildren learning about old bones at the Natural History Museum.

Sefton Park is one of the Lottery funded heritage projects that features in the animation. The Liverpool park has received over £290,000 in funding over the past 15 years. Most recently funding was secured for a preservation trust to maintain the Palm House and its grounds, and to help fund audio kiosks to provide information to visitors.  Director of the Palm House in Sefton Park Moira Leonard said:- "I would like to say a big thank you on behalf of the staff members, volunteers and visitors of the Palm House - we are truly grateful for the on-going support that is provided through National Lottery funding. Many of our past and present projects would not have been possible if it wasn't for the generosity of the scheme. As a result of the funding, we are able to continue hosting a varied assortment of exciting events for all members of the public to enjoy."

Actor Ricky stars as himself in the animation and lends his instantly recognisable voice to the narration. Ricky has been a supporter of National Lottery funding since visiting a Lottery-funded project, Gartnavel Chapel Cancer Support Centre, in Glasgow last year. Commenting on the 'Just Imagine' campaign, he said:- "National Lottery players raise an astonishing £33 million every week for good causes, improving lives in so many different ways. National Lottery funding has helped causes close to my heart like literacy projects, cancer support charities and even my local park, Sefton Park. Even if you're not a big prize winner when you play the National Lottery, you're helping other people win big."

A number of celebrities and Lottery funded projects are taking to social media today, tweeting simultaneously to raise awareness of the importance of Lottery funding.  Local gymnast, Beth Tweddle is also supporting the campaign, commenting:- "For me, National Lottery funding was an integral part of my life. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to compete in the sport I love. I hope that my involvement with this campaign will encourage my followers to pause and find out more about the crucial work that National Lottery funding makes possible."

The National Lottery has launched a 'Good Cause Finder' to enable people to find out more about the National Lottery funded projects in their area at:-

Vicki Kennedy, Director of The National Lottery Promotions Unit, said:- "This film demonstrates how everyone's life has been enhanced by National Lottery funding in one way or another. It features a number of projects including a dance group, disability charity and a project supporting older people. But they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of National Lottery funding. People can see for themselves how lives are being changed in their own community by inputting their postcode to the new good cause finder on our website."

To watch the film starring Ricky Tomlinson, Chris Hoy and Beth Tweddle, visit:-

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