Member Article

National Lottery Winners Bring Joy To Hundreds of Elderly and Vulnerable People In Lancashire

A team of creative National Lottery winners have been putting their skills to good use during the latest lockdown – making and painting dozens of beautiful bird boxes for Age Concern Central Lancashire.

Their talents have culminated into 40 bird boxes to mark the charity’s 40th anniversary year and are being handed over to day centres and vulnerable people living alone across the county.

They will bring hours of joy as the elderly and vulnerable will be able to watch the birds nest and chicks hatch through a special internal camera system which has been installed in one of the boxes and can be streamed to multiple day centres.

Didzis Pirags from Preston scooped £1M on a National Lottery Scratchcard in 2019. He was joined by Patricia Gill from Warrington, who won £1M on The National Lottery EuroMillions draw in 2015 and dozens of other winners from across the country, who have spent weeks coming up with their special creations.

Didzis said, “Charity has always been close to my heart and I love to get involved with lots of charity projects with other lottery winners – something which we normally do several times a year.

“As we have not been able to get together as a group of winners because of lockdown, we have all been taking part in lots of virtual projects. The bird box project has been wonderful – it is fantastic to have been able to do something for Age Concern Central Lancashire and something which will bring so much pleasure to hundreds of people.”

Patricia added, “It has been such a fun project to be a part of. All of the winners have been sharing their creations online and inspiring each other. It is such a joy to be able to do something like this, knowing we will be helping wildlife and giving people enjoyment at the same time.”

Suzanne Carr, Chief Executive of Age Concern, Central Lancashire, said “The bird boxes will most definitely bring smiles to hundreds of faces at a much-needed time.” Suzanne added, “While the future residents of these wonderful nest boxes won’t know they were constructed by a multimillionaire taskforce, we hope they will play a key role in bringing so much joy to both our day centre users and those people we support in their own homes who may be vulnerable or isolated.”

Set up in 1981, Age Concern Central Lancashire is marking its 40th birthday this year. The charity is dedicated to helping people across the county to live well and age well. The charity provides a wide variety of services, including help at home and within community settings, dementia care and programmes to combat loneliness and isolation. Marie Butler from The Wildlife Trusts said, “This is a lovely initiative! We’re delighted to work with the National Lottery whose winners are offering new homes for our feathered friends.

“We’re grateful to the lottery winners for their hard work but it’s to players of The National Lottery that we are most grateful. With every ticket they buy, players are helping Wildlife Trusts just like ours to give a new lease of life to wildlife and wild places and engage with local communities and individuals.

“Nationally, since its launch in 1994 more than £338 million in National Lottery funding has helped support 46 Wildlife Trusts in the UK to deliver projects for nature’s recovery across all four Nations.”

Nest box building is the latest volunteering project National Lottery winners have been involved with. Since the start of the pandemic, winners have pooled their resources to create fresh vegetable planter boxes for schools and NHS workers as well as knitting twiddlemuffs for people with dementia, making small garments for premature babies and creating Christmas angels and hampers for local charities.

Thanks to National Lottery players, over £1BN is being used by charities and organisations affected by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which includes over £600M in funding support from the National Lottery Community Fund which is being used to help groups best placed to support people and communities through the crisis.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Jones .

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