Connecting Communities at the Health Lottery Tea Party

by Jamal McKenzie, Coordinator for Connecting Communities Killisick

I have been extremely lucky to be involved in many events over the past few years due to being a Young Leader and Young Ambassador. I’ve had some amazing experiences I’ll never forget, but none have come close to the surreal day I had on Monday 2 June 2014.

Before I talk about the day, I’ll mention why I was there in the first place. I’m currently coordinating a project called Connecting Communities. It’s an initiative which has been funded by People’s Health Trust - using money raised by HealthRegard through The Health Lottery - and is delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.

My project focuses on trying to empower families through sport and physical activity within the Killisick area in Nottingham. For the past two months we have been running two hour sports sessions through the week for the students at Killisick Junior School. So far it’s been a huge success, with 42 children turning up to participate in the sports. We’re offering Dodgeball, Badminton, Cricket, Handball, Tag Rugby, Kurling, Lacrosse, and Ultimate Frisbee, so a real mix.

Due to my involvement in the project, I had the opportunity to attend The Health Lottery Tea Party at the prestigious Savoy Hotel in London on the 2 June. It was a strange day for an 18 year old lad from Nottingham. I arrived with red carpet and paparazzi at the entrance, all waiting for the host of the celebrities that were attending the event. Richard Desmond, Vanessa Feltz, Amy Willerton, Amy Childs, Sinitta and the big one; Mr Simon Cowell, that’s how ‘A-list’ it was!

There was a big presentation in a beautiful hall with champagne, cake, scones and sandwiches. We watched some of the work that is being done around the country with the money raised through The Health Lottery all around Great Britain and then came the time to meet the celebrities. I managed to speak to Sinitta, Richard Desmond and lots more, and even got a word with Simon. It all happened so fast, but we had a chat and had some photos taken for the press which made my day.

That was the second Health Lottery Tea Party. I hope that by this time next year, our project will have made a huge impact on the families within Killisick and that we have changed lives of young people in our area.