Ministry of Stories picks up National Lottery’s Best Arts award

Julian Clary presents the award to Ministry of Stories

Julian Clary presents the award to Ministry of Stories - Credit: Archant

Millions of TV viewers tuned in to see the team behind the Ministry of Stories pick up an award, presented by comedian Julian Clary at a star-studded ceremony broadcast on BBC One.

Staff and volunteers from the literacy charity rubbed shoulders with a host of celebrities like John Barrowman and Rachel Riley as they hit the red carpet to accept the National Lottery Award for the Best Arts project.

The charity was co-founded by bestselling novelist Nick Hornby five years ago, along with art entrepreneurs Ben Payne and Lucy Macnab, to deliver free writing workshops and mentoring programmes, enabling youngsters to achieve their creative potential.

It is run out of a secret workshop behind the fantastical Monster Supplies shopfront in Hoxton Street, where “fang floss” and “human snot” are on sale to raise funds.

The project now works with over 1,500 disadvantaged children every year, and trains more than 500 people to become volunteer story mentors. Past mentors included Zadie Smith, Roddy Doyle and Michael Morpurgo who helped teach children aged from eight to 18 to learn to write a little like they do.

The Ministry of Stories, which has benefited from £350,000 of National Lottery funding, beat off six other challengers in a public vote to win the award, and now receives £2,000 cash prize and a trophy.

A short film featuring Julian Clary’s visit to the Hoxton base as he presented them with their award, was also shown on the programme, The National Lottery Stars.

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Lucy Macnab said: “The opportunity to showcase the work we do and the difference we make in our community, thanks to National Lottery funding, to an audience of millions was a once in a life time opportunity.

“It is a great honour to pick up an award and the awards ceremony was an unforgettable experience for everyone at our project.

“We are grateful to everyone who voted for us and for the support of lottery players.”