Over the past 10 years, this huge investment which has had a positive life-changing impact on children and young people up and down the country, has supported over 58,000 projects which has helped them learn new skills, develop their communities as well giving them the tools to enhance their lives and the lives of others.
Thanks to National Lottery players, the funding is providing greater opportunities in life for many children and young people across the environment, arts, education, community, heritage and sport – with a big proportion of the money helping to connect young people with their environment and teaching them how to protect it.
The environment is an issue close to the hearts of young people. Many of the volunteers in our communities who seek to drive change and educate people about how to look after our environment are the younger generation. The National Lottery distributors are dedicated to helping young people continue that passion through funding incredible projects across the UK to help them unlock their potential.
Whether it is funding to provide environmental training courses for young people, empowering them to take local climate action in their communities, connecting younger people from under-represented backgrounds to the natural world, providing volunteering opportunities within the environment or using art to inspire younger children to learn more about natural habitats. The £30 million a week raised by the National Lottery’ players is making a huge positive difference to the lives of young people by providing a wide array of support across the UK.
National Lottery funded good causes making their areas greener and more sustainable across Wales include Outside Lives, which was set up in 2019 by founder Lucy Powell in Gwernymynydd near Mold, North Wales, with a focus on bringing together the local community through the environment and wellbeing. Thanks to over £100,00 in National Lottery funding, the social enterprise has since flourished, with a number of projects being run in the Mold area, both at the charity’s site and on the road. The site itself is maintained by volunteers all chipping in to help with its upkeep, with 16-year-old Lottie just one of the individuals who has seen her confidence and skills grow since joining the project.
Seagrass Ocean Rescue in North West Wales has also received £1 million of National lottery funding in order to improve the quality of seawater and the surrounding marine environment by planting five million seagrass seeds, in an area the size of 18 football pitches, in North Wales. Seagrass meadows improve water quality by filtering pollution and provide spawning, nursery and feeding grounds for marine species, including fish. Seagrass also helps provide coastal protection by trapping sediment to the seabed, holding it fast by its thick network of roots. It is highly efficient at trapping carbon yet the UK has lost up to 92 per cent of its seagrass habitats over the last 100 years.
The project has a number of young people of school age involved, who have developed their understanding of both their local environment and climate change more broadly, as well getting involved in the harvesting of the seeds. Part funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Seagrass Ocean Rescue is managed by WWF in partnership with Project Seagrass, Swansea University, North Wales Wildlife Trust and Pen Llŷn a’r Sarnau SAC.
Another pan-Wales project is focused on getting Welsh youngsters outdoors and in touch with nature. Powered by almost £2.5m in National Lottery funding, the Stand for Nature Wales project has brought together all six Welsh wildlife trusts. The project seeks to inspire young people to take action through a range of projects from nature walks to surveys. The project visits schools to engage with students and supports the teachers with outdoor learning. In North West Wales, it facilitates a youth group of 11–24-year-olds, mainly from Anglesey as well as some university students from Bangor.
Young Conservationist and Wildlife TV Presenter Megan McCubbin is delighted that so many young people have been given the opportunity to get involved in National Lottery funded projects and to help make a difference in their communities over the years.
The 28-year-old said: “It’s so important we recognize the astounding impact The National Lottery has had on the lives of so many young people and to say thank you to National Lottery players for their continued contributions to so many incredible projects that support them. The money they raise provides much-needed funding to the organisations that are making a significant difference to people’s lives – from the young to the old.”
“Without the support from The National Lottery I’m not sure we’d have as many young people getting involved in the arts, helping their local communities or deepening their understanding into the changes in our environment. It’s crucial to keep this funding going so that they can continue to do more to enhance lives of future generations to come.
“As a conservationist and young person myself, I’m passionate about getting more young people into caring for the natural world as there is still so much to be done to preserve our earth and the species within it.”
Highlighting the importance of the support from The National Lottery, David Knott, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “This extraordinary amount of National Lottery funding has meant that life-changing projects have been able to support young people across the UK to realise their ambitions and thrive. It has unlocked opportunities for young people to put their passions into conservation, education, sport, community, arts and heritage, providing them with the skillset to further their careers within these sectors.
“It is imperative that National Lottery players are recognised for their support - without them we wouldn’t be able to invest in our younger generation and inspire them to make a lasting impact on their communities.”
National Lottery players have contributed over £3 billion to projects that support children and young people in the last 10 years within the arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary projects across the UK; see the difference it’s making near you at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk