National Lottery announced as sponsors of The Sun's Who Cares Wins awards

National Lottery announced as sponsors of The Sun's Who Cares Wins awards

August 11, 2021

THERE’S a Lotto support for our brilliant health awards to honour heroes of the pandemic.

We are proud to announce the National Lottery as the sponsor of The Sun’s Who Cares Wins Awards.

Our glittering ceremony next month will pay tribute to the many selfless people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in the Covid crisis.

Hosted by TV favourite Davina McCall, we guarantee the amazing stories of our finalists in The Sun’s WCW Awards will move you to tears.

They are health workers who battled to save lives, volunteers who gave their time and unsung heroes who came to the rescue as coronavirus gripped the world.

Nigel Railton, Chief Executive of Lottery operator Camelot, said last night: “The National Lottery is incredibly proud to sponsor The Sun’s Who Cares Wins campaign to honour all those who work in the health sector across the UK.

"As a nation it is really important that we come together and thank our incredible health workers for all that they have done and all that they continue to do on our behalf.

“The past 18 months have been incredibly challenging for all of us, but surely no sector of people have had to step up to the plate more than our health workers.

'A big thank you'

“I am delighted that The National Lottery will shortly announce its very own Local Health Hero as part of The Sun’s campaign.

“Sometimes the term hero can be bandied about a bit too regularly. But for me, it has never been more apt than describing those people who are working on the front line every day.

“A big thank you from all of us to all of you.”

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Ahead of the Who Cares Wins Awards ceremony in September, some of our finalists will be guests at a star-studded concert on Sunday to welcome home another set of heroes — Team GB.

Most of Britain’s Olympic athletes were not able to attend the closing ceremony in Tokyo because of Covid restrictions.

So instead, Team GB will be reunited at a massive welcome home party at Wembley.

National Lottery distributors have handed out £1.2billion to help people across the UK during the pandemic.

An audience of 8,000 — including key workers and heroes of the pandemic — will be at the SSE Arena, along with families and friends who could not go to Japan, to cheer on the brilliant British Olympic team.

And a host of celebrities, among them Anne-Marie, Rag’n’Bone Man, Bastille and Yungblud, will perform at the epic homecoming concert.

Radio 1’s Greg James and Clara Amfo will host the celebration, where Nile Rodgers and his band Chic will play Good Times with Birmingham singer Laura Mvula.

Most of the stars will give their performances alongside charities and groups that are backed by funding from The National Lottery.

So Yungblud will sing David Bowie’s Heroes on stage with dance-circus group Motionhouse.

Pop star — and three times kickboxing champion — Anne-Marie will perform with dancers from the English National Ballet, while Laura will be on stage with the Rambert dance company.

National Lottery distributors have handed out £1.2billion to help people across the UK during the pandemic.

And National Lottery funding has also helped Great Britain win 911 Olympic and Paralympic medals since 1997 — including 65 in Tokyo.

I was training for the Olympics, but when Covid hit I knew I wanted to volunteer to work in a hospital

By Polly Swann, NHS Junior Doctor and Team GB rower

I HAVE two passions in life – rowing and medicine. But there are some things more important than sport.

So when Covid struck, it was a no-brainer. I knew that I wanted to volunteer.

I knew it might affect my rowing training and that I might not be totally fit going into an Olympic year, but I couldn’t sit by knowing I had skills I could offer.

After completing my medical training at university in the summer of 2019, the plan had been to delay becoming a doctor until after the Olympics.

But when the first lockdown came in we disbanded our training centre and were all told to go home. So I came back to Scotland and stayed with my family.

On the news there were calls from the NHS for retired doctors and new doctors to volunteer their services. They were also pushing medical students through their finals to qualify so they could work in hospitals because all the junior doctors would be seconded on to the Covid wards, into ICU and Accident & Emergency.

I applied for a job at a hospital in Scotland and worked in the surgical department during the pandemic.

I was definitely not on the front line, but I did see all the other NHS workers – people from ICU, people from A&E and on Covid wards – and the drain on them was huge.

I could see the toll it was taking on the faces of healthcare workers.

You saw people who were working really long shifts in the Covid bubbles having to have really difficult conversations with families.

I could see the toll it was taking on the faces of healthcare workers.

It is really important that the nation says thank you to our healthcare heroes because they really were heroes and very selfless in the way they worked.

They would say, “It’s just my job”, but I saw so many instances of people going over and above what was required of them. They really stepped up because we were in a global pandemic and as a nation we were really struggling.

The Thursday night doorstep clap was special but the Who Cares Wins Awards is another level of being able to recognise people who really did take the extra step.

What I also took from working in the hospital during the pandemic was how special it is being in the NHS, how lucky we are to have such an incredible service and how proud I am to be part of that.

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