Contrary to popular belief, the lottery is much more than simply picking your six numbers, sitting back and watching the prizes roll in. According to Statista, National Lottery sales alone amounted to around £6.9 billion in the UK alone – around 95% of total revenue is paid back to winners and into society.
In fact, lotteries, in general, are now much more socially responsible than in previous years. The majority of lotteries now strive to give back to their local communities in some way, shape or form and help change peoples lives for the better. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the best and most impressive lottery-funded projects across our great country.
River and Sea Sense
The large majority of lottery-funded projects have strong community backing and River and Sea Sense certainly has this in abundance. The project teaches CPR and general water safety to both young and old people across Wales through workshops and school presentations. It was started after Debbie Turnbull lost her teenage son Chris who drowned whilst out swimming with friends – Flintshire resident Debbie then set up River and Sea Sense to try and prevent tragic accidents of the same nature happening in the future. National Lottery funding has helped the project through the purchase of educational equipment relating to CPR and learning aids. Thus far, River and Sea Sense has educated 185,000 young people on drowning prevention.
Wales Heritage Projects
In March of last year, £1.5 million was pledged to five different projects in Wales to help boost the local economy. Whilst this is a pretty substantial figure, lotteries are now bringing in more revenue than ever thanks to premium products such as the £20 million lottery scratchcard, which costs £20 to play. Approximately £400,000 of the total fund went to “Imagine”, which focuses on supporting the creative industries around Colwyn Bay. This will include the opening of an academy for engineers, poets, artists and architects amongst other vocations. The next biggest winner was Gwynedd council, who have been trying for some time to achieve World Heritage status for the slate mining areas surrounding North Wales. The money will be used to promote the history of mining in the area and the subsequent impact it’s had on education and social care in the region.
Kick Some Balls (Street Football Wales)
The cleverly named “Kick Some Balls” works with homeless women and other marginalised female groups in order to boost social skills, well being and fitness. Thanks to funding from The Lottery, Street Football Wales (SFW) was able to set up the project, with five all female football teams set up across the Street Football Leagues for the first time in its history. In addition to this, SFW also ran special swimming lessons aimed at BAME who are culturally restricted from the large majority of public pools.
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The Greater Good
Ultimately, the lottery allows us to dream about winning jackpots, buying our dream house and jetting off into the sunset. What some people don’t realise however is that by purchasing tickets or scratchcards, you are also indirectly helping fund local projects which make a real difference. Whatever anyone thinks of the lottery in a general sense, the organisations involved should be commended for giving back to the community and bringing people together.