Money from the English lottery has helped a wide range of good causes since it’s inception in 1994. Cultural, heritage, health, sport and other charities have benefited to the tune of £30 billion over the years.
One very worthy cause recently received a much-needed donation from the English lottery. Hill farming is one of the most lonely and stressful occupations available.
Farmers work round the clock every day of the week to keep their business going, having to turn their hand to a wide range of skills, before being paid a minimal amount to cover their annual costs. According to Government statistics, farmers are twice as likely to commit suicide as the rest of the population.
The problems can be particularly pronounced in wilder areas and the English lottery was able to give £450,119 to a support group for farmers in one such region. Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services Ltd. is a company and charity owned by local people employing eight staff and a large group of volunteers dedicated to supporting farmers and communities in the Teesdale area of County Durham.
UTASS is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give support and advice to those who need it. They are there to assist with understanding and completing complex forms, distributing information connected with difficult agricultural legislation, liaising with appropriate bodies to help relieve hardship, coordinate training courses, running evenings for local teenagers, organizing community events and just offering help and advice when needed, among many other services.
But the English lottery is not the only organization that has realized the importance of a group such as this: the Prince of Wales’ own Countryside Fund has provided help. Prince Charles visited the UTASS in October 2012 and featured the organization when he was invited to guest edit the BBC’s Countryfile programme in March this year.
The English lottery money did not come too soon for the UTASS as their members have had to deal with severe weather over the last year. The organization has had to recruit ‘helping hands’ volunteers to assist farmers with day-to-day tasks made overwhelming by the difficult conditions. At the same time, negotiations have lead to Barclays Bank offering a financial package to help farmers cope with the money problems severe weather can bring.
Once again money from the English lottery has been shown to make a difference. Keep buying your English lottery tickets and 28 pence from every pound will go to deserving good causes like Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services Ltd.
Find out more about the UTASS on their website.