Time is running out for you to help a local mental health project win the coveted ‘UK Project of the Year’ trophy at the 2023 National Lottery Awards.

The annual National Lottery Awards celebrate the people and projects across the UK who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. Since voting for The National Lottery Project of the Year category opened on September 11, thousands of votes have been cast from across the UK for the 17 finalists to help decide this year’s winner.

But the October 9 deadline for voting is fast approaching, and a Pembrokeshire project needs your help to get across the line.

Get The Boys A Lift (GTBAL) is a not-for-profit organisation launched by a group of friends which provides free mental health support to the people of Pembrokeshire while promoting open discussions about mental wellbeing. The project has gone from strength to strength since 2016, now offering a mix of in-person and online counselling services to anyone over 17.

The team runs a clothing and coffee shop in Haverfordwest called ‘Our Place’, offering a unique café experience where visitors can chat to counsellors and make new friends. The project’s drop-in service has provided around 500 people with free and easy support, without the challenge of extensive waiting lists. The project’s online counselling service, which launched during the pandemic, also gives clients the option to have sessions remotely. 

With support from The National Lottery, the project was able to buy a coffee van in 2022, allowing representatives to travel further afield, not only raising funds to maintain the organisation’s services, but promoting its core message about the importance of openness around mental health.

GTBAL runs regular events across the region, including outreach in schools and workplaces as well as community events. Its ‘Break the Stigma’ coffee van has been stationed at Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire across the summer, giving the team a chance to spread the message to a wider audience, not only to local people, but the region’s many visitors.

Profits from the project’s bespoke clothing range, which includes everything from hoodies to beach towels, go back into the team’s crucial work.

Greg Walters, Director at GTBAL, said: “It is a real honour to be nominated and to be part of this process. It feels really special to be recognised for the work we do at Get the Boys a Lift. Thanks the to support of our community we’ve been able to save a lot of lives. We hope that people will vote for us and we can continue to spread the word about the help we provide!”

At the end of the voting window, the finalist with the most votes will be crowned the National Lottery’s 2023 Project of the Year. The winning project will receive a £5,000 cash prize, along with an iconic National Lottery trophy to commemorate the achievement. 

Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, more than £30 million goes to good causes across the country every week, making vital projects like these possible. So don’t forget to make your voice heard by voting for your Project of the Year in the National Lottery Awards – with your help, any of these projects could be a winner.”

To vote for Get The Boys A Lift, go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards.  Or simply use their specific hashtag on X (formerly known as Twitter) #NLAGTBAL . Voting runs until 12 noon on October 9.