WASTESAVERS are asking for public support as they try to win the National Lottery Project of the Year award.

The social enterprise has been running a project tackling digital poverty which has beaten more than 1,500 other projects to be in the running for the award.

They have reached the public voting stage and will be competing against 17 other finalists.

Voting will take place over four weeks and the winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize and a National Lottery Awards trophy.

This is the first time that the awards will be held.

Alun Harries, charity manager at Wastesavers, said: “We are delighted to have been made a finalist in this year’s National Lottery Awards- even more so because there are so many incredible projects.

"Coronavirus has revealed the scale of the digital divide and digital poverty is a significant problem.

"Lockdown and the closure of schools brought the digital divide to the forefront.

"Some families rely on a single mobile phone or tablet.

"As well as children missing out on learning, those without online connections often couldn't stay in touch with their friends. 

"Thanks to National Lottery funding, we are able to consistently deliver initiatives and outreach work that help alleviate household poverty and support those who are most in need in the community.

"All this is achieved whilst raising awareness and educating people about the importance of recycling and reuse.

"To be recognised for everything that we do is an honour and we really hope people will get behind us.”  

Wastesavers was set up in 1985 and runs recycling services for 75,000 people in Newport.

They received a grant of £34,605 from The National Lottery Community Fund to provide second-hand IT devices to the digitally and socially excluded during the pandemic.

The charity focuses on alleviating poverty by providing household items, electrical items and renovated IT items, education about recycling and offering teenagers who are struggling in mainstream schooling an alternative education that gives them numeracy, literacy and practical skills.  

Wastesavers has nine reuse shops in Cardiff, Newport and the South Wales Valleys where people can donate electrical items and staff and volunteers work to restore them.

A digital training programme runs alongside to ensure everyone is IT literate.


Jonathan Tuchner, from the National Lottery, added: “In these challenging times that we still find ourselves in, we see so many examples of inspirational work throughout our communities, driven by these very projects.

"It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise more than £30 million each week for good causes, that brilliant projects like these, are possible.

“Wastesavers are doing some incredible work in their community and they thoroughly deserve to be in the finals of the National Lottery Awards Project of the Year 2021.

"With your support, they could be a winner.”

To vote for Wastesavers use the Twitter hashtag #NLAWastesavers on Twitter or follow the link here.

Voting runs from 9am on September 6 until 5pm on October 4.