RADIO 1 DJ Sara Cox and comedian Rufus Hound took to the airwaves for a special radio production performed by visually impaired young people in Cardiff, as part of a celebration of National Lottery Good Causes.
The UCAN Productions project won the most public votes in Wales after people were asked to vote for their favourite Good Causes project to win a visit from the celebrity duo.
The vote was held as part of a Facebook campaign dubbed Cox & Hound Hit the Road, intended to celebrate the £30 million raised each week by lottery players for Good Causes up and down the country.
Working with RNIB Cymru, UCAN Productions aims to increase opportunities for visually impaired children to participate in the arts. The lottery-funded project was set up by actor and director Bernard Latham and his wife Jane, to boost the confidence and self-esteem of often isolated young people.
The duo are spending five days this week driving from Scotland to the South coast to explore the work of projects that have benefited from National Lottery funding.
Where they are going and what they do is being determined by public vote through a specially-designed app on the National Lottery Facebook page facebook.com/TheNationalLotteryUK
Sara and Rufus visited UCAN Productions at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University, where they took part in the Christmas Special of a radio soap series written and performed by the young people at UCAN.
Mared Jarman, 17, an A Level student at Ysgol Gyfun Plasmawr has had vision problems since suffering with a virus age 10, said: “We’ve been working on lots of ideas and improvisation for the radio soap for a few weeks and we’re really enjoying the chance to perform with Sara and Rufus.”
Joe Wait, 12, a pupil at Croesyceiliog Comprehensive School, has been attending the UCAN group since he was 7. He said “I love acting and performing, and it’s great to come to a group where we are all the same. I’ve had my picture taken with Sara and Rufus and I led a warm-up routine at the beginning of the night.”
Ten projects, including two in Wales –UCAN Productions and the Tenovus Sing for Life Choir – had made the shortlist from more than 365,000 projects to have received funding since The National Lottery began in 1994.
Sara said she thought the roadtrip was a great idea and a chance to show the people of Wales who had played The National Lottery a glimpse of what their money meant to local communities.
Rufus said: “I’ve bought a few National Lottery Scratchcards in my time, and I’ve even won a few quid over the years!
“For those times I didn’t get lucky, it would be good to see the impact of that cash and how other people have benefited.”
Over 70% of the 365,000+ lottery grants made to date have been £10,000 or under, benefitting local communities the length and breadth of the UK.
Click here to see the video: Sara Cox and Rufus Hound visit UCAN Productions