A FORMER EastEnders star is on the search for a local hero in the Braintree district.

National Lottery funding of more than £454,961 has been given to good causes in Braintree in 2019/20, according to the latest figures.

A total of 24 National Lottery grants were allocation in this period providing crucial support to arts, sports, heritage and community organisations.

One of the projects includes replacing the flooring in Rayne Village Hall.

More than £8,000 was awarded to renew the wooden flooring and keep the facility open.

A total of £20,000 was also given to Healthwatch Essex based in Earls Colne to create a community support service for those with additional needs during the pandemic.

Now the National Lottery is looking to hear about those who are going the extra mile, doing amazing things and inspiring others.

Jacqueline Jossa, who is known for portraying Lauren Branning in EastEnders from 2010 to 2018 and winning the 19th series of the ITV series I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, is urging people to enter the awards scheme.

She said: “I really hope lots of people nominate a local hero because these people deserve to be celebrated, especially during these challenging times when many need the support more than ever.

“So much National Lottery funding goes to great causes and allows these local heroes to continue their inspirational work within our communities and its thanks to National Lottery players that this can continue.”

Winners will receive £3,000 for their organisation and a National Lottery Awards trophy.

The awards are seeking to recognise outstanding individuals in culture, arts and film, heritage, sport, and community and charity.

There also will be a special Young Hero Award for someone under the age of 18 who has gone that extra mile in their organisation.

All nominees must work or act for a National Lottery-funded organisation or have received National Lottery funding.

To make a nomination, go to lotterygoodcauses/awards.

Entry closes at midnight on June 7.