TWO lottery-funded projects from County Durham are in the running for a national award.

The annual National Lottery Awards searches for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects and local projects If U Care Share Foundation and Come Eat Together have been chosen out of 750 entrants for the final vote.

Great Lumley-based If U Care Share Foundation has reached the finals in the Best Voluntary/Charity category.

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Created in memory of 19-year-old Daniel O’Hare, the foundation carries out important suicide prevention and support work in the North East.

Dean Smith, Daniel’s father and foundation chairman, described their success as a ‘great achievement’.

He said: “Our National Lottery funding has allowed us to provide support, raise awareness and promote positive mental health,’ he said. ‘We’re now appealing for support from all quarters to get behind us.”

Come Eat Together, established by AGE UK County Durham, is nominated in the ‘Best Health Project’ category.

The project improves access to cooking and enjoying healthy food for older people, promoting the benefits of eating well to communities across County Durham.

Harriet Gibbon, the charity’s chief executive, said: "We are delighted, and we really hope people across the UK will get behind this fantastic project.”

Voting opens today (Wednesday) and continues until July 23, with the eventual winner receiving a £2,000 prize and trophy.

Votes can be cast online at, or by telephone on 0844 836 9699 for Come Eat Together and 0844 836 9716 for If U Care Share.