Former Strictly star and Invictus Games gold medalist, JJ Chalmers, has launched a search to honour Gwent individuals who have used National Lottery funding to change lives.

Mr Chalmers, who is leading the hunt for the National Lottery’s 30th Birthday celebrations, is hoping to showcase the everyday heroes whose actions have sparked inspiration, uplifted spirits, and fostered profound change.

Since its initial draw on November 19, 1994, The National Lottery has collected more than £310 million through 11,179 individual grants for good causes in Gwent.

These funds have significantly supported community projects, fostering development and expansion in arts, heritage, and sports sectors across the locality.

Mr Chalmers now encourages Gwent’s residents to participate in spotlighting the unparalleled achievements of these exceptional individuals, to highlight 30 for 30 years of the National Lottery.

He is asking for nominations of the inspiring townsmen and women for the National Lottery Game Changer initiative.

The 37-year-old broadcaster is profoundly acquainted with the significances of recognising unsung heroes, having borne severe life-altering injuries while serving as a Royal Marine Commando.

In 2011, he faced a dangerous improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Afghanistan that caused the loss of two fingers, inflicted severe facial and leg injuries and completely shattered his right elbow.

Despite narrowly escaping a double arm amputation, he triumphed over his injuries, winning a gold medal at the Invictus Games in 2014 and becoming the first disabled presenter to host the Olympic Games.

"During my own recovery journey and involvement with the Invictus Games, I have encountered countless unsung heroes who work tirelessly to improve the lives of people around them," said Chalmers, who now devotes time to giving motivational talks at schools and businesses nationwide.

"I think it's really important that we celebrate these inspirational individuals and thank them for all that they do.

"If you know somebody who has done something amazing with National Lottery funding over the last 30 years, then please take the time to nominate them as a National Lottery Game Changer."

The National Lottery supports the mission of celebrating these extraordinary individuals.

Jonathan Tuchner, a representative of the National Lottery, expanded on this.

"Since it was established 30 years ago, the National Lottery has been able to strengthen local communities, power sports teams, preserve and celebrate our heritage, support environmental projects, empower the elderly, and unlock young people's potential. That's all thanks to the players," he said.

"As part of our 30th Birthday celebrations we want to honour those who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in their communities with the help of National Lottery funding."

National Lottery Game Changers seeks to recognise exceptional players in the Arts, Community, Heritage and Sport categories.

These 30 chosen individuals will receive national recognition in the autumn with a spectacular event.

A panel consisting of members from The National Lottery family will select the winners, who will receive an iconic National Lottery Game Changers trophy.

Residents of Gwent are invited to nominate a National Lottery Game Changer on the Lottery Good Causes website. The deadline for nominations is midday, June 17, 2024.