Millionaires make their mark at National Memorial Arboretum
National Lottery winners from across the UK and a war hero awarded, the George Cross for gallantry have come together, to build a special pathway at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
National Lottery winners have for the third time come together to help make a difference at the national centre of remembrance. They created ‘The National Lottery Way’, a walkway that will help visitors reach memorials and tributes to our fallen heroes.
Help from a hero
With a combined wealth of over £45Million, the team of National Lottery winners volunteered to create a 40-metre long pathway which links the main avenue to the rear of the site where many new memorials are located. They were joined by Matthew Croucher, a 33-year-old Royal Marine Commando originally from Solihull who risked his life to save his comrades in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. In 2008, he was awarded the George Cross – the highest British and Commonwealth medal for gallantry not in the face of the enemy.
Matthew said, “The two days have been amazing. I assumed we’d get a somewhat chilled group of wealthy people. What I saw was a very hard-working group who wanted to make a difference. They all mentioned how they wanted to give something back after their good fortune and not only did they work hard but they were great fun with an amazing sense of humour.”
Leading the band of hard working millionaires was an ex-British Army Sergeant Major of 35 years. Ken Wedgeworth, who won £1Million on EuroMillions in 2016, is a volunteer worker at The Arboretum and was proud to be part of the day.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed welcoming my fellow winners to the Arboretum. I’ve met a few of them before and I was delighted to hear they were all coming to help this wonderful place. On behalf of everyone at the Arboretum, I say thank you.”
On their previous days volunteering at the Arboretum National Lottery winners renovated the ‘Shot At Dawn’ Memorial and also created a new Dunkirk Memorial. Grants totalling over £10Million have been awarded to the park including most recently £2.85Million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the new Visitor and Education Centre.
Jason Humphreys, the Curator overseeing this latest build at the National Memorial Arboretum, which is part of The Royal British Legion family of charities, said, “The National Memorial Arboretum is a living and breathing place which recognises all those who have suffered on behalf of us all. We are very grateful to our National Lottery volunteers who have worked so hard over the last two days. Being a skilled workforce has been an enormous help in creating a vital pathway to improve visitors’ experience.”