MSP Alasdair Allan met with the team at the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery (WILL) this week to learn more about the Lottery’s success and how proceeds have already benefitted every age group across Na h-Eileanan an Iar.
The SNP MSP also became the latest islander to sign up for regular tickets via the Lottery website www.westernisleslottery.co.uk.
Since its launch in August 2017, support has steadily increased and an average of 1,650 tickets are currently purchased for each Saturday night draw.
The more supporters who join in, the higher the weekly Prize Pot rises and the more that can be returned to their area.
In just 10 months, a total of £53,765 has been raised to date, with £15,300 having been shared out in Weekly Prizes and £38,500 having been returned to the Community.
The Lottery is on target to raise an amazing £65,000 within its first year of operation. With more Supporters joining in with just £1 per week via the website www.westernisleslottery.co.uk, there is no limit to the amount that can be raised and distributed.
Ensuring a fair distribution of raised funds was important to the Team and a postcode system was devised whereby proceeds of any ticket purchased in a particular area was directly returned there. Six established groups across the Western Isles take responsibility for ensuring their funds are utilised as effectively as possible in their own respective Communities.
Alasdair Allan MSP said: “It’s great to see such a fantastic local initiative take off and flourish.
“With the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery, people can be sure the proceeds are kept within the islands and that local causes will be supported. A number of groups right across the length of the Western Isles have already benefited.
“I warmly congratulate the Lifestyle Lottery team on the amount raised so far and I look forward to seeing if I have won in Saturday’s draw!”
Emma Fraser, on behalf of the Lottery Team, said:“We can only continue to work hard at developing the Lottery which, in turn, can only be successful with continued public support. The more Supporters who sign up, the higher the weekly Prize Pot will go – giving more incentive to others to also join.
“Our motto is ‘Where There’s a Will There’s a Way’ – and we have already shown how beneficial a home grown Lottery can be to our Islands”.
The Lottery was initiated for three specific causes – to improve the aesthetics of the Western Isles, to provide additional amenities and to provide events for locals and tourists alike. Projects across all categories have already been undertaken.
Aesthetics: Stornoway Amenity Trust, Harris Voluntary Action and Barra & Vatersay Community Ltd had displays of festive lights last Xmas;
An extensive programme of Powerwashing, floral displays, painting and landscaping works is currently underway within the Broadbay Area;
Amenities: Eoropie and Balivanich Playparks – upgraded facilities;
Uig Community Centre - play equipment and 2 sport coaching clubs;
North Lochs Community Centre – Youth Club run “Silver Darlings” Cafe;
Carloway Community Centre – Gas BBQ & Housing for Community use;
Hearing Loop System in Community Centres across Isle of Harris;
The Barra Herring Trail is currently being renewed and a Community Public Address System for events is being purchased.
Currently, in Area 2 the Westside Agricultural Show Committee are developing an area of ground to enable them to enhance their Annual Show which will also provide additional Event space to Community Groups as well as car parking space in the area. In Area 3 – Keose Community Association are finalising their development of a new playpark in the area. The Western Isles Lottery funding is supporting both these upgrades with current proceeds raised to end August 2018 being awarded.
Events: Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band are currently organising an Event in Uist to celebrate their recent success at the New York Scottish Week;
The recent, and now Annual, Peppa Pig Event was provided with Mascot Outfits to enhance the event and a Mascot Hire service has now been established by the Lottery Team.
Alasdair Allan MSP with WILL’s Tony Robson, Janet Paterson and Emma Fraser