Help Takin' Charge win a National Lottery prize

Takin' Charge is a project co-managed by Janet Hoskins, a senior lecturer in the Cass School of Education and Communities. It helps boys living with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic muscle wasting disorder.

Takin' Charge receives money from The National Lottery to run workshops for boys with DMD, as well as their families. The initiative recently beat out hundreds of other lottery-funded projects to earn a place in the finals of the education category in this year's The National Lottery Awards.

Winners get £3,000 and the chance to appear on national television.

The competition is decided by a popular vote – which is where Takin' Charge needs the help of the UEL community.

You can cast a vote for Takin' Charge online. You can also call 0844 8369685 (calls may cost up to 5p). Voting is open until 20 July.

Janet said, "It would be great to win the Lottery award and acknowledge the fabulous work of the project, as well as raise awareness of how young people with Duchenne are living into adulthood despite the many challenges they face.''

Janet's advocacy began when her now-15-year-old son was born with the condition.

Boys with DMD – the disorder only affects males – experience swift and severe muscle weakness and wasting. Sufferers usually lose the ability to walk by the age of 12, and have a high chance of dying in their late teens to early 20s.

There is no cure for DMD. However, with new and improved medical treatment, more and more boys with the disorder are living into their 30s and beyond

Takin' Charge's workshops offer support and information on topics such as understanding the condition, leaving school, applying for university, sex, relationships and health.

Janet said, "The money from the National Lottery would be fantastic as it would enable us to support these young people to think seriously and aspirationally about their future - the sort of jobs they want to do, where they want to live and who they want to see.

She continued, "Above all, families and professionals need to be thinking about what we are doing now to ensure these young people are able to reach their dreams and have the best life possible.''

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