Big Lottery Fund Christmas Message 2011

Uploaded by BigLotteryFundVideos on 14.12.2011

Big Lottery Fund: It’s been another challenging year for organizations working with communities
and people most in need and once again it’s been a huge privilege for the Big Lottery
Fund to be able to work with so many remarkable people and projects. We’ve just been adding
up the figures the results are in and we’ve distributed over 600 million pounds to people;
helping make a difference on the things which matter most to them in their communities,
one fantastic project that I visited earlier this year was in Nottingham. It’s called
Wheel Base and with Big Lottery Funding what that project is doing is engaging young people
who are pretty fed up with school really, they are gaining skills in motor vehicle engineering
which is helping equip them with skills which will help them get jobs in the future.
The Village SOS series showcased six projects which the Big Lottery Fund had supported to
breath new life into villages which were at risk of dying. I visited a school for food
which is offering wonderful opportunities for people to learn cooking and catering skills
and develop produce which they could then sell on, and it was acting as a magnet to
bring people into Tideswell. On November the fifth in front of a glittering array of stars
and live on BBC 1 the National Lottery Awards were presented and once again Big Lottery
Funded projects did extremely well in that competition. Sense Scotland a wonderful project
delivering services to vulnerable people across Scotland was an extremely worthy winner. It
was great to see Hands that Talk winning an award for Northern Ireland.
This year also saw the launch of our older people’s program in Wales a 20 million pound
investment, one of the charities that benefited from that was Tenovus and there was a fantastic
story we heard a woman who very unfortunately had terminal cancer. Tenovus run a project
which encourages people to get together and sing and celebrate and she said the positive
experiences that brought her were genuinely life changing, once again Big Lottery Fund’s
Heroes Return program in 2011 supported hundreds of veterans to go back to services and events
to commemorate things which happened in the Second World War and in a remarkable coincidence
two of the veterans who hadn’t seen one another for 67 years bumped into each other
at one of these events and rekindled a friendship which was incredibly special to both of them.
It was a wonderful story which hit the national press and is just one illustration of the
power and opportunity that comes from lottery funding.
Well the Big Lottery Fund is only as good as the projects which we fund I do want to
take this opportunity to thank the people who work at the Big Lottery Fund. We have
incredibly committed staff who day after day, go the extra mile to make a difference to
communities and people most in need. It’s obviously impossible in a short message like
this to do justice to the huge range of projects and organizations which the Big Lottery Fund
supports so if you do want to find out more please take a look at our website and all
that remains is for me to say now then is have a very merry Christmas and here is looking
forward to a great deal more support for fantastic individuals, communities and projects in 2012.