A team of lottery winners have been spreading early Christmas cheer to hardworking carers by delivering festive hampers.
The group, worth a combined total of more than £26million, and are giving something back to show their appreciation after what has been a challenging year.
The Christmas task force created more than 100 luxury hampers and have been dropping them off to carers at Age Concern Central Lancashire.
Natalie Cunliffe, from Blackpool, who won £1million on a National Lottery scratchcard four years ago, delivered some of the gifts on Wednesday.
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The mum-of-two has been able to give up work and move into her dream home since her husband bought the winning card.
Explaining how it was particularly important for her to do something for carers, she said: ‘My grandma is in a care home suffering with dementia.
‘Carers are the ones that are with our loved ones when we can’t be, especially this year, so it’s just to show our thank you. You’re not unrecognised, you are doing an amazing job.’
Normally, The National Lottery would bring winners together in the run up to Christmas to help support various charities.
But this year, because of lockdown restrictions, they created a Whatsapp group to plan how they could give something back.
Among those joining in were Sharon and Nigel Mather, from Bowdon in Cheshire, who won £12million in 2010 and Michele and Kevin Jones, from Crewe, who won £6million in 2016.
The hampers, after being quarantined, were delivered to Age Concern Central Lancashire’s Dementia Day Support Centres in Bamber Bridge and Fulwood, near Preston.
One of the recipients was Norma Kirby, who is a carer for her husband Barry, who has dementia and has suffered a Stroke.
After receiving her early Christmas treat in Bamber Bridge on Wednesday she said: ‘It’s just been a lovely surprise.
‘It’s very nice because you do feel lonely a lot of the time, very lonely, but this is absolutely beautiful.’
Age Concern Central Lancashire CEO Suzanne Carr said: ‘Our family carers are at the core of our charity.
‘They embody everything that we are passionate about and we’re incredibly proud of how well they have adapted over lockdown, overcoming the many personal challenges that carers often face on a daily basis. They are unsung heroes.
‘We’re extremely honoured to be chosen by National Lottery winners to receive these beautiful festive hampers and we know that our fantastic carers will truly appreciate a spot of early Christmas joy.’
The National Lottery is teaming up with ITV for the Miss Out To Help Out campaign to encourage people to volunteer in their communities.
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