July 29 2014 Latest news:
Kay Atwal, Chief Reporter
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
A charity project that works with young people to stop them from becoming involved with knife crime and gang crime is appealing for people to vote for it in this year’s National Lottery Awards.
The Carry A Basketball Not A Blade project run by NASSA - Newham All Star Sports Academy, is competing against six organisations to win the Best Sports category for a chance to win £2,000.
The project has been plucked from over 750 entries to go into the public vote to decide the winners of this year’s National Lottery Awards - the annual search for the country’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.
Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) was set up in 2008 by Anthony Okereafor, NASSA’s Division one basketball player, after the death of two friends from knife crime. It combines basketball coaching with talks about the dangers of knife crime and gang culture.
Natasha Hart, founder of Newham All Star Sports Academy, said: “We are delighted to have reached the finals of the National Lottery Awards. The National Lottery funding was crucial in allowing us to start our Carry A Basketball Not A Blade initiative. We now work with nearly 2,000 young people every week and NASSA has contributed to a 46 per cent reduction in serious youth violence and gang-related crime in the London Borough of Newham. NASSA has also just been named as the Charity of the Year in The Charity Awards 2014 for our work. Without the National Lottery funding none of this would have been possible.”
TV star and actor John Barrowman will be presenting the awards for the fourth time this year.
He said: “Every year I am moved by the exceptional work that the finalists of the National Lottery Awards carry out. They typify everything that is right with society.
“I urge everyone to get behind Carry A Basketball Not A Blade (CABNAB) as they aim to get the recognition they so richly deserve. National Lottery players should be proud that the £33 million they raise for charities every single week goes to projects like this.”
To vote for Carry A Basketball Not A Blade, go to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or telephone 0844 836 9707.
The deadline for votes is midnight Wednesday July 23.