The British National Lottery provides finances for a wide variety of good causes the length and breadth of the United Kingdom and one of the smallest and yet valuable projects has been awarded money from the lottery in Powys, Wales.
A few years ago the residents from Ystradgynlais in the county were awarded £610 from the British National Lottery funds to provide free salsa classes to all the residents.
The classes are held in the Octopus Project, a centre in the community dedicated to promoting healthy living to all residents. It was recognised that there was a general lack of exercise among the residents and it was decided to find something that would inject a sense of fun into healthy exercise. There was a widespread interest in the idea of salsa classes.
In addition to the need for exercise, there was also a need for childcare to allow mums to join in. It was for this the British National Lottery money was most used.
Following the award, 15-20 local people regularly turned up for their dance sessions, which they were able to enjoy for free.
Project leader Elaine James said, “I tried it myself and it was really good fun, but there was only one man there so he had the pick of the ladies!”
The healthy living centre has received a total of £500,000 from the British National Lottery since it opened in 1999, in the centre of the deprived Penrhos estate in Ystradgynlais. It provides art classes, a children’s centre and Woman’s Aid.
The name Octopus indicates the aims of the project: Opportunities Created To Overcome Poverty, Unemployment and Sickness.
Playing lotteries online really can help communities.