National Lottery winners make plant boxes for key workers

National Lottery winners have been putting their carpentry skills to good use during lockdown by making garden boxes, filling them with plants, herbs, flowers and shrubs and distributing them to key workers and children.

The initiative began when members of a winning National Lottery syndicate from West Suffolk College, who won £1Million on EuroMillions in 2016, decided to brighten the day for some of Ipswich’s key workers and children.

Using any materials available, Martin Cribb and Robert Ely set to work building garden boxes and filling them with a selection of plants.

Now with some easing of the lockdown, the boxes are being distributed to worthy beneficiaries around the Ipswich area.

One lucky recipient is the Jack n Jill Pre-school on Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, which is providing a safe and supportive environment for the young children of local key workers. Delighted to receive their garden boxes, the carers and children are excited to get planting.

Nursery manager Michelle said, “It’s such a lovely project for our children to be involved in and we are delighted to have received these planters. Not only will it keep little minds and hands busy, but the finished planters will bring some brightness and cheer for our key workers as they collect and drop off their children.”

Martin, who ran the syndicate that scooped £1Million in 2016, turned his hand to building the planter boxes when lockdown kept him at home. When fellow winner Robert heard about the project, he jumped at the chance to get involved.

Martin said, “When the country was first put into lockdown I had time on my hands and I was looking for a project to keep me busy. With my wife, Sarah, we hit on the idea to start making these boxes to be distributed as a ‘thank you’ to our local key worker community.

“I’ve really enjoyed putting my skills – and stored timber – to good use. It is fantastic to see an end result from our efforts and also knowing that they are going to bring real cheer and smiles to the faces of the recipients.”

In addition to Jack n Jill, planters are being delivered to Felixstowe Road Medical Practice and The Treehouse, in Ipswich, run by East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Helen Rudd, Deputy Service Manager, said, “Although we’ve had to restrict visitors to The Treehouse for the time being, with many of our services now being offered by phone and online, we’re sure staff, children and their parents who are here in this period will enjoy having the planters around and hopefully more people will be able to enjoy them soon. Thank you to Martin, Sarah and Robert for thinking of us.”

The garden box movement is expanding, with National Lottery winners across the country, from Peterborough to Blackpool, joining in and creating garden boxes for their local community.

Daniel Peart and his wife Charlotte from Peterborough (pictured), who won £1Million on EuroMillions in 2018, were happy to get involved. Daniel, a self-employed carpenter, is used to being busy, so during the lockdown he has turned his hand to building planter boxes which will be given to the children of key workers at Alderman Jacobs Primary School and local police officers.

Meanwhile, Rotherham National Lottery winners, Trish Emson and Graham Norton, are also making planter boxes using any materials available.

Trish, who won a £1.7Million Lotto jackpot in 2003, and Graham, have handed their first boxes to James Montgomery Academy Trust hub at Wath Central Primary School. It is providing a safe and supportive environment for the young children of local key workers.

Trish said, “I really wanted to put my time to good use during lockdown and do something for the children of key workers. I have loved making the planter boxes and they certainly brought smiles to faces when I handed these over.”

Mel Bashforth, from Wath Central Primary School, added, “This is a lovely idea and the finished planters will bring some brightness and cheer for the children of our key workers.”

28th May 2020

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 6,300 new millionaires created and by playing The National Lottery you raise over £30 million for good causes every week.

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