FORMER Eastenders star Jacqueline Jossa is on the lookout for people who do extraordinary things for the community in Colchester.

National Lottery funding of more than £1.5 million was given to good causes in the borough in 2019/20, according to new figures released to mark the launch of The National Lottery Awards.

A total of 45 National Lottery grants were allocated in this period providing crucial support to arts, sports, heritage and community organisations in Colchester.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery funded people and projects and they celebrate the inspirational individuals and groups who do extraordinary things in their community.

Last year there were almost 5,000 nominations made and once again, the National Lottery is looking to hear about those who are going the extra mile, doing amazing things and inspiring others.

Anyone who has received National Lottery funding is eligible for nomination.

Winners in each category will receive a £3,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.

Jacqueline said: “I really hope lots of people nominate because these people deserve to be celebrated, especially during these challenging times when many need the support more than ever.

"So much National Lottery funding goes to great causes and allows these local heroes to continue their inspirational work within our communities and its thanks to National Lottery players that this can continue.”

The 2021 National Lottery Awards are seeking to recognise outstanding individuals in the following sectors:

• Culture, Arts & Film

• Heritage

• Sport

• Community/Charity

There will be a special Young Hero Award for someone under the age of 18 who has gone that extra mile in their organisation.

All nominees must work or act for a National Lottery funded organisation or have received National Lottery funding.

Winners of these categories will be chosen by a judging panel made up of members of the National Lottery family and partners.

In addition, projects from any sector who have received National Lottery funding are eligible to enter The National Lottery Project of the Year category. Sixteen shortlisted finalists will compete in a UK-wide public vote in September to claim this title.

To make your nomination for this year’s National Lottery Awards, tweet @LottoGoodCauses with your suggestions or complete an entry form through our website www.lotterygoodcauses/awards.

Entries must be received by midnight on 7th June 2021.