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National Lottery surprise for the Red Cross

25 October 2016

The British Red Cross in Abergele and Royal Voluntary Service received a huge surprise when a National Lottery player revealed their application for funding had been successful.

The organisations were presented with a cheque for £932,766 at the launch of The National Lottery’s ‘Thank You Wales’ campaign, which allows players to visit projects who benefit when they buy a ticket.

Roxanne Rylance from Colwyn Bay has been playing The National Lottery for more than 10 years. She visited the charities in Abergele to tell them that that their Big Lottery Fund application for funding to launch a new Positive Steps service had been successful.

The service from both charities will help older people in crisis across North and Mid Wales. It will increase their confidence, improve their mental and emotional wellbeing and reduce isolation.

Our volunteers and those from the Royal Voluntary Service will encourage older people to play a more active role within their community. They will support them to improve their social networks, regain their independence, and build their resilience to cope in times of crisis.

'Delighted'

Dave Worrall, pictured with Roxanne Rylance, centre, and Lesley Thompson from the Royal Voluntary Service, is service manager at the Red Cross. Dave said: “Both Royal Voluntary Service and the Red Cross are delighted to receive this National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

"It will allow volunteers from both charities to work together to support vulnerable people across north and mid Wales who are dealing with a specific crisis in their lives.

"Sadly, many older people have lost contact with their communities due to illness, mobility problems or bereavement. The Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service will work together to help them regain their confidence, improve their mental and emotional wellbeing and ultimately support them to find solutions that re-establish their independence and allow them to re-connect with their community.”

Lesley Thompson, head of support and development in Wales for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We know that many older people need support after a crisis which is why this funding is hugely appreciated. Once British Red Cross has provided the initial support needed, our valued volunteers will help the older person get the best out of life.”

Roxanne Rylance said: “I was humbled to be a part of the big surprise. It’s not every day you get to hand over a cheque for almost a million pounds! Knowing that the money is going to such a good cause makes the experience even more special.

“It was a really tense moment when Dave Worrall from the Red Cross opened the envelope and let everyone know about the funding. There were a lot of tears and hugs, and I was trying not to cry myself – it was overwhelming.

“I’ve been playing the National Lottery for more than 10 years and am part of a syndicate at work. When you buy a ticket you usually think about the money up for grabs, but I’ve never really thought too much about the fact that some of my ticket money goes to such deserving charities and community groups like this.

“It’s been a great experience to be involved in the campaign, and I’m sure the other National Lottery players will have an equally rewarding experience when they visit other projects across Wales. I’ll definitely be spreading the word about where the money goes from now on, especially after seeing the impact it has first-hand, and how many people benefit as a result.”

Jackie O’Sullivan, director of National Lottery Good Causes, said: “National Lottery players have raised a massive £1.6 billion to fund projects right across Wales. The ‘Thank you Wales’ campaign is thanking lottery players, without whom none of this would have been possible. We want to make National Lottery players aware of the thousands of fantastic projects across Wales that would never get off the ground if it weren’t for their money.”

Positive Steps is one of seven projects across Wales sharing in £3,479,433 as part of the latest round of the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places funding.

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