More than £691,000 of National Lottery funding was invested into Watford last year, figures released yesterday (Wednesday) reveal.

Thirteen grants were awarded and provided a cash boost to local arts, sport and heritage and community groups helping the area’s most vulnerable people.

Among the grants were awards to:

• £183,835 to Watford & District YMCA - A young people's project for them to plan, participate and lead a range of projects and activities, enabling them to positively contribute to their community.

• £154,500 to Signpost and Youth Enquiry Service to develop its work building the confidence and resilience of young people to overcome the difficulties they face through counselling, coaching, peer mentoring and supported interaction.

• £107,542 to Watford Citizens Advice Bureau to create a seamless way of accessing rights and responsibilities advice for the people of Watford by involving four partners in the creation of a stronger local network.

Now these projects, and any organisation which has received Lottery funding, have a chance to gain national recognition for their work as the National Lottery Awards 2014 open for entries.

John Barrowman, presenter of last year’s National Lottery Awards show, said: "National Lottery players raise £33 million every week for a wide range of projects which make a life changing difference to local communities. The awards are a great way of celebrating their work and the unsung heroes helping people with National Lottery funding.

"Everyone in Watford who plays the National Lottery should be proud of the difference their money is making in the local community. If you know of a Lottery-funded organisation that deserves to be nominated, we want to hear from you."

The National Lottery Awards have seven categories - each reflecting an area of Lottery funding: Sport, Heritage, Arts, Environment, Health, Education, and Voluntary/Charity.

The winners of The National Lottery Awards will receive a £2,000 cash prize and national recognition at a star-studded event broadcast on BBC One later this year.

If you want to see a project from Watford celebrated in this year’s National Lottery Awards, visit to find out more or call 0207 293 3599.

Projects wishing to enter can do so by visiting the website. Entries must be received by midnight on March 12.