As the battle against coronavirus continues in the UK, the National Lottery has outlined how it will play a key supporting role in providing crucial funds. With draws set to continue, a percentage of the money you spend on tickets will go towards helping good causes.
£300 Million in Community Support
The National Lottery has insisted since the start of the coronavirus crisis that it will be flexible with its funding so that those who need it most will receive as much financial backing as possible. Up to £300 million will be given to the most vulnerable people over the coming months.
Lottery support is focused on community projects, as larger services such as the NHS and the police are funded directly by the government. The £300 million is therefore set to be distributed to many local causes around the country, such as food banks or initiatives that support the elderly. Health in the community will be a priority, as well as helping those who may be struggling with loneliness or isolation.
Nigel Railton, CEO of National Lottery operator Camelot, said: “Week in, week out, National Lottery players make a huge difference to the lives of people and communities across the UK. Just by buying a ticket, players in every nation have helped raise over £40 billion for good cause projects, from supporting our athletes to repairing scout huts.
“Now, more than ever, The National Lottery can play a critical role in supporting our communities as we all face this challenge together. Up to £300 million raised by National Lottery players will be helping to fund vital work in local communities at a time when it’s needed the most.”
Helping Sport To Thrive
The National Lottery distributes money to good causes in several sectors – sport, arts, heritage, and health, education, environment and charitable projects. It is determined to help every sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, and there are 12 distributors who decide on which causes receive funding.
Sport England has announced that £195 million will be made available, with the aim of highlighting the importance of sport and physical activity. With so many sporting events cancelled and everyone urged to stay indoors, clubs and community groups have lost money.
The new package, which combines National Lottery and government funding, will support those with short-term cashflow concerns and immediate loss of income, as well as those with medium and long-term challenges, so that sport at a grassroots level can continue to prosper.
UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said: “This multimillion-pound package of public funding will not only help local sports clubs facing financial concerns but also encourage people to stay fit at home.”
Emergency Fund For Heritage Sites
A £50 million emergency fund has also been set up to support heritage sites after a survey found that 46 percent said they would not be able to survive beyond six months if the current lockdown continues.
New grants have been halted with immediate effect and the emergency fund will make use of the money that had been earmarked for them. It will prioritise the sites which have no other financial support or where heritage is most at risk. The National Lottery Heritage Fund is committed to keep helping the 2,500 projects it is already supporting.
Eilish McGuinness, executive director of business delivery at the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We know that circumstances are incredibly challenging for our heritage community right now and we want to do everything we can to support them.
“We hope this new emergency fund and our investment in digital capability will be a lifeline for organisations affected. Heritage has an essential role to play in making communities better places to live, creating economic prosperity and supporting health and wellbeing. All of these are going to be vitally important as we emerge from this current crisis.”
Every time you buy a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard, £0.28 from every £1 will continue to go towards good causes during the current crisis. That money will then be funnelled towards the projects that are most essential.
The National Lottery is committed to holding draws as scheduled. The safest way to take part is online so that you do not have to go outdoors to buy your tickets or claim any prizes you win.