Youth projects reach National Lottery Awards finals

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Two east London youth projects have reached the finals of this year's National Lottery Awards.

Carry a Basketball Not a Blade and Tower Hamlets Air Cadets - plucked from 750 entries - are calling on local supporters to make them winners in their categories by voting.

The former, which is up in the Best Sports Category, was set up in 2008 by Anthony Okereafor after two of his friends were killed through knife crime.

Combining basketball coaching with talks about the dangers of knife crime and gang culture, the club visits local schools as well as the Newham All Star Sports Academy.

Anthony, said: "It's all about breaking down divisions between youngsters from different postcodes and between youngsters and the police - too many young people are dying just because they happen to walk into the 'wrong' area."

Tower Hamlets Air Cadets, in the Best Education Category, was set up in response to the August 2011 riots to teach 13-20-year-olds positive values while learning about aviation and the Royal Air Force.

Actor John Barrowman, who is presenting the awards said: "I urge everyone to get behind the east London finalists as they aim to get the recognition they so richly deserve."

Go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards to vote.

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