We were delighted and extremely proud to announce that the Ichthyosis Support Group (ISG) won the National Lottery Award for the Best Project in the Health category. The BBC spent Thursday 15th August 2013 with the ISG and some of our families filming us for what we were told was a short piece, highlighting the work of the ISG, to be shown on a National Lottery Draw Show - little did we know what was going to happen!

The ISG had been invited to the Museum for English Rural Life in Reading, to hold a mini ISG event where there would be a petting zoo, a tour of the museum, a chance to try on some rural life costumes and finally time for everyone to talk and share information about ichthyosis - all to be filmed. We were enjoying our day being filmed, trying to act completely natural, relaxed and completely unselfconcious.

We genuinely had no idea that we had won the award or that that was the real reason for holding the event. So when Len Goodman, Strictly Come Dancing judge approached us pushing a wheelbarrow full of hay and wearing a flat cap, we were absolutely stunned when he pulled an award from the hay announcing he was actually here to tell us that the ISG had WON the National Lottery Award for Best Project in the Health Category!

The cameras were still rolling but everyone's reaction to the news was surprise and disbelief, very quickly followed by tears of joy, and then hugs all round. The rest of the day was a blur of interviews, photos, press, huge smiles and congratulating.

The footage was actually for the National Lottery Stars 2013 show, a glittering star studded show celebrating the work of lottery funded projects from across the UK. Seven worthy winners were honoured with awards on 5th September, including us the Ichthyosis Support Group, winner of the Best Project in the Health Category. The show, a star studded event which was prerecorded, was aired on Wednesday 11th September 2013, BBC 1 at 10.30pm

We would like to extend a massive thank you to everyone who voted for us, you won the award for us. We may be the Ichthyosis Support Group - but all of you are our supporters ...

What is the Award?

If an organisation receives funding from the National Lottery you can apply for your orgnisation and that lottery funded project to win an award. Over 900 organisations put their projects forward for an award, then that was whittled down to 49 Finalists - 7 projects in every 1 of 7 categories. The win for the ISG's project is absolutely massive and we beat some large charities! The project the ISG have won the award for was our Family Day held at Manchester United's Old Trafford Stadium in 2012, where we brought over 60 families together to learn about, share experiences of, and talk about living with ichthyosis. We received nearly £10,000 from the National Lottery to part fund this project. Keep up to date with National Lottery Good Causes and the Awards, news, updates, photos and award results, and of course the awards ceremony here.

This is a huge achievement for the ISG and everyone affected by ichthyosis ...