Jackpot winners joined lottery to give young people a better future

A Penrith couple who joined the town’s community lottery to make life better for young people have enjoyed a small life improvement of their own this week after scooping the jackpot.

Harry and Eileen Blenkinsop matched all four numbers to win £3,800 in Pride in Penrith Lottery’s weekly draw last Wednesday. The couple, both retired teachers, became members of the lottery when it began five years ago, after hearing about its work to raise money for local organisations.

“A friend, Linda Fouldes, was part of the original lottery team and she told us about some of the local groups they were hoping to help, including several working with young people,” Eileen said. “We feel it’s so important for children to have a good start in life and to have aspirations. Having good facilities in the area is really important as it gives our young people opportunities that put them on a level with their peers in other areas. We wanted to help make sure that children in our area aren’t held back by a lack of amenities.”

Eileen recalled her surprise after hearing about their win in a phone call from the lottery coordinator, Nicky Jenkins.

“I was quite shocked at first and passed the phone to Harry,” she said. “During all this time that we’ve been members of the lottery, we didn’t think about winning money. For us it was about our money being useful to others in the community.”

The couple, who haven’t yet decided what they’ll spend their winnings on, urged residents in Penrith and the wider area to help the lottery’s fundraising efforts.

“I think the lottery is a tremendous way to help all sorts of groups in the community, and parents in particular should consider joining because it’s helping their children and their future. It’s so important for children to have a vision of what they can achieve, and the support they need to make their aspirations come true.”

Rob Udale, chair of the lottery, presented the winners with their cheque on Monday 15 June.

“It’s a real pleasure to see Harry and Eileen’s generous support rewarded with a jackpot win,” Rob said. “Thanks to them and all our other members paying £2 a week to enter our jackpot draws, we’ve been able to give out £60,000 in grants since we started in 2010.”

Anyone interested in joining the lottery or applying for a grant can find out more at www.prideinpenrith.co.uk or call 07518 011644.