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How your votes in the People's Projects made a difference in your communities

Credit: ITV News

Next week is the return of The People's Projects - where you have the chance to decide where up to £150,000 of National Lottery funding is spent in our region.

The People's Projects is a partnership between ITV and the Big Lottery Fund to help community groups improve people's lives.

We've been back to two winners from last year - The Ragroof Players in Margate, and Rising Voices in Poole - to see what a difference the money has made.

Meridian East:

Meridian West:

Kent WW2 veteran revisits Operation Market Garden

To mark the 69th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, WW2 veteran Wally Smith from Ramsgate will be revisiting the place he fought in Normandy.

Wally will be supported by the Big Lottery Fund's Heroes Return 2 programme which has helped more than 54,000 veterans.

The veteran will be visiting the scene of one of the most audacious Allied offensives in WW2, Operation Market Garden.

It was the largest airborne operation in history and is awarding grants to veterans to return to the places they saw action.

He joined the Army in 1941 and served at Arnhem as a Lance Corporal with the 4th Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment.

Whilst there we lay wreaths at war memorial monuments, including the monument at the Arnhem bridge and at the war cemetery. Dutch school children attend and all lay flowers at the war graves, and it is very emotional.Although this may be the last year we organise a group trip, I will keep going back every year, with my son, for as long as I can.

We do it for the comrades that were left behind.”

– Wally Smith


The People's Millions - still time to apply

There is still time to apply for this year's People's Millions - your chance to win funding for community projects where you live. Across ITV wer are giving away 76 prizes of up to £50,000 each. Fred Dinenage & Sangeeta Bhabra explain where the money has gone in the past in this report.

You can apply if you are a :

  • Voluntary or community organisation

  • School

  • Health body

  • Branch of organisation or partnership

  • Local authority

You have until noon on Monday 13th May to apply. Shortlisted projects will go head-to-head. Media training will be offered.

To get an entry pack just click on this link and follow the instructions. Terms and conditions apply and you can read them here.