Easter bunny has £500 for community lottery winner

The Pride in Penrith Lottery’s Easter draw is just around the corner, guaranteeing one lucky winner a £500 prize.

“But everyone wins when you join your community lottery for just £2 a week, because all our profits are donated to groups and projects in Penrith and the surrounding locality,” said lottery chairman Rob Udale. 

“Our two most recent grants are a great example of how our members’ subscriptions help both young and old in our area. Last month, were able to award just under £1,000 towards a new play area for children in Calthwaite and surrounding villages and we’ve also recently contributed £1,000 towards sprucing up one of Penrith’s grot-spots.”

The Calthwaite Play Area Committee – a determined team of six local parents – have been working tirelessly on creating a play area for two years and hope works will start on the site in late summer.

“The first challenge was to lease some land near the Calthwaite Church of England School, and we had to do a lot of fundraising just to cover the £3,000 legal fees for that,” said Ange McManus, who chairs the committee.

Hesket Parish Council then paid the costs to obtain planning permission and the team are now consulting on final designs for the play area.

“This grant from the Pride in Penrith Lottery has made a big difference for us,” Ange said. “We would have had to run a lot of fundraising events to bring in that much money. It will pay for one of the pieces of play equipment.”

There’s no playing around just yet for the committee, though, with another £20,000 to raise. 

“We’ve applied for other grants and we’ll continue to fundraise,” said Kirstie Commander, who looks after the committee’s publicity work. Cream teas, a duck race, race night, quizzes and donations have all added to the funding pot, along with sponsorship from Gelt Gladiator entrant Chris Cork. The team welcome anyone who can volunteer to help in any way, whether through donations or time.

Equally challenging was the quest to clean up the alley between Devonshire Street and Little Dockray. Penrith Partnership brought various organisations together to agree on works to paint the alley and deter birds from fowling it. 

“This alley has long been a bug bear for people in the town,” said Peter Ward, chair of Penrith Partnership. “It was dark, dingy and blighted by bird mess. Cleaning up grot spots like this is one of the priorities in the new Penrith Community Plan, which tackles things that local people have said would make the town a better place for them.”

Penrith Partnership relies on fundraising for its projects to improve the town and the Pride in Penrith Lottery has also supported some of their other initiatives – from events like the Marmalade Festival fun day in the town on Saturday 20 March and the Eden Food and Farming Festival, to refurbishing the lighting around St Andrew’s Churchyard last year.

“We simply couldn’t run events or carry out improvement works without the support of funders like the lottery and we’re hugely grateful to all the lottery’s members for their generosity,” Peter said. 

Anyone joining the lottery before 23 March will be entered into the Easter £500 draw. There’s a joining form on our website, or call us on 07737 049516.