A crack team of National Lottery winners from across the North East, worth more than £20 million, have come together and donned dungarees and gardening gloves to help breathe new life into the Barnardo’s building in Gateshead.
A generous bunch of Lottery winners have been bringing a smile to the faces of children and adults in their local community in the North East. The Barnado's in Gateshead is an essential lifeline for hundreds of young people and adults who visit the centre every week for vital support, advice and the opportunity to meet peers.
The winners were joined by some of the service users, including parents and young people, who helped to brighten up the playroom and parent’s room with a lick of paint, new furniture and accessories. The makeover included a space mural on the ceiling and giant wall graphics showing famous local landmarks including The Angel of the North and the Gateshead Bridge.
A herb and sensory garden was also planted and the young people chose to create a “confidence tree” as a unique wall feature in their meeting room. This is something they will use on a daily basis to assist them as they work through difficult periods in their lives.
Rachel Chard, Children’s Service Manager at Barnardo’s Gateshead, said, “It is wonderful to see so many people here today giving up their time and kindly supporting ourselves. They really put their backs into it too!
“All of the parents and young people are very touched and we cannot thank the winners enough. It has been wonderful to be able to meet the winners and work alongside them. The changes they have made will make a huge difference to everyone who comes here.”
Joanne, one of the parents who visits most weeks, helped Lottery winners during the day. She said, “It is just fantastic to have Lottery winners at our centre. I cannot believe the difference they have made. The work they have done will have a massive impact on everyone who comes here. It will really help to make our days brighter.”
Amy Lowes, 20, one of the young people who helped to paint the confidence tree, added, “This is something which will really help me and lots of other young people too. We will be able to see how one day we may be feeling like we are at the bottom of the tree but with the help and support of everyone at the centre, we slowly climb to the top.”
Barnardo’s in Newcastle and Gateshead has previously benefitted from £1.6 million of National Lottery funding from The Big Lottery Fund to support a variety of projects including offering a lifeline to families who have been victims of domestic abuse.
Barnardo’s projects across the UK have had an amazing 129 National Lottery grants over the last 22 years, worth £34 million.
Barnardo’s is just one of thousands of projects in the North East to benefit from National Lottery funding thanks to players. Since the launch of The National Lottery, £1.4 billion has been shared with 23,000 projects across the North East region, covering a diverse range of sectors from arts, heritage, sport, education, environment, health and charity.
Winners taking part on the day included: Mark and Cheryl Brudenell, from Stockton-on-Tees, who won £1M in February 1997; Paul and Sue Watson, from Darlington, who won £1.1M in February 2007; Elaine and Derek Thompson, from Newcastle, who won £2.7M in 1995; Michael and Norma Eggleston, from Sunderland, who won £2.7M in 2007; Kevin and Ashleigh Brown, from Whitley Bay, who won £100k on a Scratchcard in October last year; Mark and Julie Weir, from Darlington, who won £2.7M in May 2008 and Andy Garth, from Middlesbrough, who scooped £1M on Christmas Day in 2012.
Several Lottery winners from outside the North East also joined the day of volunteering, including Norman Harris, a retired carpenter from Driffield, who won £1.2M in July 2005; Marie and Paul Kibler, a retired gardener from Sutton Coldfield, who won £2.1M in February 2012 and Jim and Maureen Emerton, from Grantham, who won £4.4M in March 2012.