A COMPANY helping vulnerable adults across Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire access training for work is appealing for votes after reaching the finals of the prestigious National Lottery Awards.

The Fix and Shift project is competing against six others to be the Best Voluntary/Charity Project. More than 1,300 organisations entered, hoping to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards. This was a record number of entries to the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

The project with the most votes will be crowned the winner in their category. They will receive a £5,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy, and they will attend a star-studded glittering Awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One in September.

Fix and Shift Training (FAST) started when its manager heard of a vulnerable adult who had sat in the dark for days because he didn’t know how to change a lightbulb, and he didn’t know who to ask to help him.

The community project provides training for vulnerable adults across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and the local area. They then help others, from gardening, decorating, fitting smoke alarms, assembling flat pack furniture, to changing light bulbs for pensioners.

National Lottery funding helps vulnerable people access training and also helps vulnerable people feel safer in their own homes. The project guides the trainees towards employment, with a Job Club created by volunteers to help each other. The package of training, real experience and work preparation helps people who pass through the programme to change their lives.

Sarah Phillips from Commodum Ltd said: “We are delighted that Fix and Shift Training has been nominated for a National Lottery Award, and has reached the final public voting round.

“Fix and Shift Training is a DIY service run for vulnerable people by vulnerable people. This public recognition is a real boost for all our trainees, who work hard to help others.

“It would mean so much to them to win this award and I’m asking the public to continue to support this project by voting for us as the UK’s best Voluntary/Charity project in the National Lottery Awards.”

National Lottery Awards spokesperson, Jackie O’Sullivan, added: “National Lottery players raise £30 million every single week for Good Causes across the UK and the work done with that money is truly life-changing.

“The National Lottery Awards celebrate the talent and dedication of the amazing staff and volunteers who run these incredible National Lottery funded projects for the benefit of their communities.

“Fix and Shift Training has worked very hard to become a finalist and they now need your support. So get voting!”

Voting is simple; go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards or tweet using the project’s unique hashtag #NLAFixandShift or retweet a message including this hashtag on Twitter. One vote is allowed per Twitter account, and voting runs until midnight on July 27.