New mums get helping hand from National Lottery millionaires

Money was tight when Christine Howlett was raising her daughters, so she made clothes for them by hand and developed a love of sewing in the process.

Since Christine and husband Graham became Lotto millionaires in 2004, the Beccles mum has been using her stitching skills to help others.

One beneficiary of Christine’s sewing smarts is Lowestoft Baby Basics where Christine and a team of National Lottery millionaire mums, dads and grandparents, recently spent a productive day. The project helps mothers heading into hospital to give birth without the essentials as well as homes where little ones need a Moses basket, a winter coat or even a pram.

Lowestoft Baby Basics is part of Baby Basics UK, a national organisation that has been supported by more than £190,000 of funding made possible by National Lottery players.

During their visit, the National Lottery winners filled wash bags – each one hand-sewn by Christine – with the essential toiletries a new mum needs. According to Baby Basics UK, many expectant mothers head to the maternity ward without these items due to financial constraints.

Christine said, “It was so enjoyable sewing the little washbags knowing each one would be used by a new mum as she welcomes her baby to the world. I can remember when I was raising my daughters, money was very tight; maybe that’s where my love of sewing started as I used to sew clothes for them to save a few pennies.

“We have all been amazed at the work of Baby Basics Lowestoft and the small team’s ability to create real and immediate solutions to help families who might be struggling. Knowing that each ‘welcome to the world pack’ we put together today will give a baby a slightly better start in life, and help the mum to do the best for their baby, is very moving.”

One team of National Lottery millionaires lovingly packed ‘welcome to the world’ kits, containing everything from nappies and bedding, to clothing and a first toy. Another team was kept busy up-cycling donated pushchairs and cots, ensuring they were clean and fit for purpose.

Christine said, “I’ll be keeping a keen eye out in the town to see if I spot any of the pushchairs that I worked on now ferrying a little one about. That would really make my day!”

Working alongside Christine and Graham was Lowestoft local Craig Harrison who won £100,000 every month for a year on a National Lottery Scratchcard he bought in December 2022. They were joined by Kerry Swatman, whose mum Jean won £2Million on Lotto in 2013, as well as £1Million prize winners Charlotte and Daniel Peart, £2.5Million prize winner Tracy Field and £1Million prize winners Katie and Antony Canty.

Judith Goddard, who helped set up Baby Basics Lowestoft in 2016, said, “We’ve enjoyed working with the local National Lottery winners and are touched that they have given up their time in this way. So much of what we do is making sure that the new mums know someone cares about them and their new arrival. The careful attention today’s millionaire mums, dads and grandparents have given to everything they have done reflects our values to a tee.”

Judith added, “Things are incredibly tough for many people, so we are always grateful for the donations we receive from our local community. In fact, our community is so supportive that we are now desperately in need of new larger premises so we can safely store everything and continue to help the growing number of Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft families in need. Hopefully, today's activity will create a little more awareness of our work and maybe someone with spare office space will get in touch!”

22nd April 2024

The National Lottery has been changing the lives of winners and supporting good causes across the UK since 1994. In that time, there have been more than 7,200 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £4 million for Good Causes every dayΔ.

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