The National Lottery has lifted it fair share of people up to millionaire status over the years, but its contribution to the UK doesn’t stop there. Of the £2 you spend on your lottery ticket, 56p goes into a funding pot that is then awarded in the form of grants to various charities, project, and schools. With the addition of the Big Lottery Fund in 2004, over 130,000 UK projects enjoyed a share of more than £6 billion.
Further from that, £700 million was distributed in over 13,000 grants for 9 million beneficiaries in 2016-2017. With 10,000 of those recipients being charities, £550 million was put towards mental health support.
In the following article, we present some specific projects from around the UK that the National Lottery has supported with funding.
Sports for London
Funding for the Olympics is just one of many London-based examples of lottery support. Many more projects in England’s capital city have also benefitted from lottery funding, with over 52,000 projects receiving a cash sum since the start of the National Lottery. In June this year, community groups in Newham received £250,000.
Funding of around £100,000 was given to The Green Station, in order to transform the former North Woolwich Railway Line into an 8,000-square-metre community garden and area. It is estimated that the space will be used by 1,500 residents each year once it opens. Elsewhere, £10,000 was given to projects including English language and IT sessions for women and tuition for disadvantaged children and young adults.
Scotland is next on the list. Royal Blind received £45,000 in May thanks to help from the public. The blind charity revealed that its blind school in Morningside, Edinburgh, was one of three groups in the East of Scotland to receive the top level of funding in a share of £150,000. The money is to be used to buy specialist equipment for outdoor lessons as well as specialist playground equipment suitable for children with disabilities.
The deputy head teacher spoke in detail about the grant: “We are absolutely over the moon to have secured the funding which will go towards enabling our pupils to learn and play outside. Too often children with a vision impairment are unable to access play areas in the same way as their sighted peers. They are not able to experience the freedom and exhilaration of outdoor play.
“With this funding we will be able to enhance Sensory Play, Active Play and outdoor learning through the creation of a kitchen garden. Pupils can help grow fruit and vegetable from seed to the kitchen.”
The Angel of the North
The Angel of the North is a prominent landmark in the North East, made possible by work from the Arts Council England in 1998. Recently featuring in a photo shoot to celebrate 20 years of National Lottery funding, the 20-metres tall sculpture in Gateshead dominates the skyline and is seen by more than one person every second.
With a wingspan of 54 metres and built from 200 tonnes of steel, the structure is a proud monument for the North East. Of his masterpiece, sculptor, Antony Gormley, told Lottery Good Causes: “The angel has three functions – firstly a historic one to remind us that below this site coal miners worked in the dark for 200 years, secondly to grasp hold of the future, expressing our transition from the industrial to the information age, and lastly to be a focus for our hopes and fears – a sculpture is an evolving thing.”
North West England’s Olympic offerings
The National Lottery also funds various sporting endeavours, such as Sir Ben Ainslie, whose training enabled him to win four golds and a silver in five Olympic Games. The funding meant that Ben was able to train full time and receive the best medical care, coaching and facilities that are available. Seeing such a success from a local athlete often works as an incentive for others to push to be the best they can be, so while this funding was of great help to Ben, it may have help others from his area too as they followed his journey.
For the 2012 London Olympics, Sir Ben was picked to bear the torch first, then to bear the flag for the Closing Ceremony. For London’s 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, an amazing £2.2 billion was invested by National Lottery players.
Dads in the West Midlands
Funding also went to the Dads Do It Too project, an initiative that sees weekly workshops run for children and their dads or father figures. The project allows you to learn new skills together and enhance your father-child relationship.
The National Lottery supplied funds to Birmingham-based Sport 4 Life. The organisation works with ‘at risk’ children and young people as well as underprivileged families and adults from disadvantaged areas. It’s believed that sport can help improve the health, build key skills and raise their confidence while bringing communities together. The fund allowed them to include activities such as football, badminton and table tennis while also providing healthy eating courses and sports coaching.
Northern Ireland’s sporting clubs
The Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club in Antrim was doing great things for adults, but wanted to increase their scope to help out children who wanted to get involved. Thanks to the grant it received, the club was able to buy specially adapted wheelchairs and set up a junior club. This allowed kids who were previously unable to take part in sport because of their physical disabilities to join. Club treasurer, Aubrey Bingham, said: “I can see a difference in so many of the kids. They’re so much more outgoing than when they started, and they have new skills. Their parents are so proud.”
To combat isolation issues and boost health services, £1.3 million of funding was announced in January. More than £500,000 of this was to help people in County Armagh, with Community First Responders County Armagh & Tyrone, the Brain Injury Foundation in Camlough and Dialogue in Diversity, in Portadown, among those to reap the benefits.
Welsh music and health
With funding, Music in Hospitals was set up to bring professional music sessions to Welsh hospices. The project provides a crucial distraction from any illness or medical care for both the patient and their family, friends and carers, meaning the happy times don’t have to come to a standstill during this testing period.
The Welsh Director of Big Lottery Fund, John Rose, announced back in May that Welsh communities will receive over £30 million in funding. One project that recently received such a grant was Welcome to Our Woods, who received £1,282 from Create Your Space. The community in Upper Rhondda Fawr, South Wales Valleys, is intent on making to woodland more useful and relevant to the region.
It is possible to apply for funding from the National Lottery. If you believe your cause can gain from such grants, then don’t hesitate to get in touch and let the National Lottery change the lives of those around you.