AN INSPIRATIONAL duo from Flintshire are in line for recognition after being nominated in the ‘outstanding individuals’ section of the 2023 National Lottery Awards.

The National Lottery Awards are the annual celebration of the ordinary individuals and organisations who do extraordinary things with the help of National Lottery funding. 

This year, 3,780 people and projects throughout the UK were nominated for the awards in recognition of their unwavering efforts to improve their community.

Devoted dad, Brian Valentine from Shotton, who was inspired by his football mad deaf son to set up an inclusive junior football team, has been nominated in the Sport Category.

There is also a Special Achievement Award this year to celebrate an outstanding individual whose selfless dedication has improved the lives of the people around them, especially during these challenging times. 

Mandy Giddins from Flint, who lost her 18-year-old son Jordan to a rare blood disease and cancer in 2017, has been nominated for a Special Achievement Award.

The Flintshire pair have now been shortlisted among the 35 finalists from across the UK in the outstanding individual category of the awards, waiting to see if they will be crowned outstanding UK individual winners in their specific category.

Brian Valentine set up Shotton Town United Junior Football Club in 2015 after struggling to find a club that would fully meet the needs of his deaf son, Dylan.

With the support of National Lottery funding from Sport Wales, the club now welcomes well over 100 children to training each week, with sessions adapted to include members who are hard of hearing and deaf.

Brian said: “Being involved in football offers so many benefits, from mental health and wellbeing to physical fitness, and we want every child to experience that.

"Our motto is ‘every child should play’ and that’s an idea everyone at the clubs holds dear.

"I’m delighted to be nominated for a National Lottery Award and will take it as recognition for the important work the team and I do.”

Mandy Giddins has been nominated for her unwavering efforts in improving the lives of young cancer patients with practical support and special gifts.

Her son, Jordan’s positive attitude and good humour in the face of adversity inspired Mandy, a Nurse Practitioner, to do something worthwhile to continue his legacy.

The National Lottery Community Fund supported 'Giddo’s Gift' was born and Mandy, 55, has since raised more than £350,000 through the charity to improve the lives of 13 to 24-year-olds who have cancer across North Wales and Northwest England.

She has worked with hundreds of families to date, providing wishes for at least 50 children a year on top of other support services.


Mandy said: “I feel honoured and overwhelmed to be nominated as everything I do is out of my love for my son.

"Any award would be for all those battling cancer and the lives lost. The treatment is brutal.

"I am so proud of how Jordan dealt with everything, with a smile on his face. How far the charity has come is as a consequence of his kind, caring personality, and determination to get better outcomes for those battling childhood cancer.”

During the summer, a panel made up of representatives of The National Lottery and partners from across the UK will decide the winners in each of the individual categories.

Winners will be revealed in the autumn and will receive a £5,000 cash prize for their organisation and a coveted National Lottery Awards trophy.