Stand Up For Southport column: Join Southport Community Lottery and make a difference – In Your Area

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Lewis Wright was helped by the Community Link Foundation
By Andrew Brown
Ever since I was young, I have wanted to do what I can to give something back to Southport.
So to me, joining the Southport Community Lottery was a no-brainer.
My wife and I both joined four years ago. And while her numbers have come up twice – I am still waiting for mine! – the joy is not in seeing winning numbers but in seeing the incredible difference that money raised by the Lottery makes.
Southport Community Lottery is a monthly prize draw that ensures we continue to be able to support the most vulnerable in our community.
It is run by the Community Link Foundation, a local charity with a difference. The organisation, which is run by local volunteers, assists anyone in Southport and the surrounding areas who need financial support in the form of a variety of ways.
The Foundation – and its many supporters – have a passion for supporting the people and organisations within our community and invest in the people who live in it so that we can be proud of where we live.
Unlike some other fundraising initiatives, you know that every penny of the money raised is going directly to good causes, and you can see exactly where in our area the money raised is being spent.
You can join Southport Community Lottery for a small donation of just £5 per month. By supporting the Lottery you are helping the charity to make grants to people and organisations in our local community who are experiencing poverty, ill health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantages.
The process is very transparent – you can see the difference the money is making to local people’s lives by looking at the stories on the Community Link Foundation Facebook page, or on the Stand Up For Southport website, or in other local media outlets.
In March for example the Community Link Foundation responded quickly after seeing an appeal on social media from Southport Foodbank. They were faced with unprecedented numbers of requests for help due to people losing their jobs or being furloughed and the wait for Universal Credit.
Due to this, they launched an emergency fundraising appeal and as soon as the charity heard about it, it pledged its support and donated £3,000.
Just a couple of weeks later the Foundation donated £2,000 to Home Start Southport and Formby. The charity usually offers a weekly home visiting service to families, but it was unable to do this at the time and had been using other ways to make sure families feel connected.
Since day one of the lockdown, Home-Start was in contact with all the families by organising weekly deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetable boxes.
Manager Annie Ives said: “The charity was overwhelmed with the support from CLF and it really brightens someone’s day to receive one of these deliveries and CLF have helped make this possible.”
In April, the Community Link Foundation donated £2,000 to Louie and Tanya Gaffney of Playtown who had started a project to make and deliver meals to the elderly, vulnerable and key workers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to the grant, they were able to deliver more than 200 meals a week.
The charity donated £1,500 to Birkdale Community Hub and Library to help with the development of the building. The Station Master’s House at Birkdale Train Station has been transformed into a library and community hub and the money from CLF has been used to enhance the facilities.
Before lockdown, the Community Link Foundation was able to give funding to Asthma Relief which provides breathing equipment to hospitals and medical centres. The money that was donated enabled them to buy six nebulisers which was donated to Queenscourt Hospice in Southport and can be used to enable patients to spend their final days at home.
Community Link Foundation purchased a laptop for 12-year-old Birkdale High School pupil Lewis Wright who was diagnosed with Leukaemia.
His world was turned upside down with the illness and trips to the hospital but the laptop meant that he was able to keep in touch with his friends and family, including his big sister who he really missed when he was having his treatment. It also meant that when he was feeling well enough, he was able to join in with school lessons via Zoom.
A toddler with an extremely rare condition was bought equipment by the Community Link Foundation to improve her quality of life.
Isla Rose Steel has Non-Ketotic Hyperglycinemia (NKH) which is a genetic, metabolic disorder caused by a defect in the gene code which affects the enzyme system that breaks down the amino acid glycine, resulting in an accumulation of glycine in the brain and body. This can cause seizure, development delays, motor and speech issues, sometimes blindness. Sadly, some children’s only milestone is a smile. Isla has to have 17 syringes of medicine a day to control the glycine.
The charity received a grant application from Stephanie Russell, who was seeking assistance to bring her brother Michael home following surgery on a rare brain tumour which left him with severe disabilities.
The family home was not suitable and their parents sold this and bought a bungalow in Banks that needed total renovation. Michael’s father planned to undertake most of the work and the Community Link Foundation along with many others helped with supplies to enable the works.
There are so many reasons to join the Southport Community Lottery. They have much more work they want to do locally, more people they want to help.
Joining the Southport Community Lottery is easy.
To ensure that the charitable causes continue to receive a correct amount from the Southport Community Lottery 50% of the total monies taken in are awarded as prizes and the remaining 50% goes to the charity. Two thirds of the prize pool goes to the winning ticket and one third is split between the five runners-up.
The more people who join the Lottery, the more help that the Community Link Foundation can give to those who need our help the most.
We hope you can join us.
You can sign up to Southport Community Lottery here.
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