On February 12 2010 entries will close for the UK National Lottery Awards. This scheme searches for the country’s more popular project financed from the lottery fund and highlights an area of the UK lottery draw that tends to be largely overlooked. The awards were launched by television personality Sally Lindsey at the London Transport Museum in the company of volunteers from the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service. This was significant as both the museum and the WRVS have benefited from grants from the British national lottery fund.
Every week, hopeful lottery players bemoan their lack of success in the UK lottery draw and yet there are many people who win every week – the charities and good causes.
Since the lottery was launched in 1994, £24 billion has been raised for projects across the country. That means the lottery players raise £25 million every week for diverse areas of need. Each entry into the draw gives 28 pence to charity.
St Davids cathedral in Pembrokeshire was built on the site of a previous church in 1181. It has suffered an earthquake, vandalism by soldiers and constant erosion by the weather. Clearly it has had a long battle for survival. Things were made a little easier recently, however, by a grant from the National Lottery, which enabled the south cloister and north porch to be rebuilt.
Rowan Gate Primary School in Northamptonshire received £ 50000 from the lottery, this time via an ITV network television programme, ‘The People’s Millions.’ The money is being used to update the school’s physiotherapy pool and make it more accessible for the disabled.
The UK lottery draw also funded a series of projects in recognition of the role played by servicemen in the Second World War. The Heroes Return scheme gave £17 million to enable veterans to return to the places in which they fought, including 58 Royal Navy veterans who visited Singapore and Penang.
But this project goes further. Home Front Recall provided grants of between £500 and £20000 for schemes that commemorated the events and people of the Second World War. Also the Their Past Your Future project provides school children with opportunities to study the war and meet the veterans.
In the 15 years the UK lottery has been in existence, it has made a major impact on many areas of British society. Twenty eight percent of the grants have been injected into the most deprived areas of the country with great results. Although it can be too easy to see the lottery purely in terms of the winning and losing of money, there is no doubt that its effects are more deep and positive than first appear.