Tameside lottery winners help transform baby hospice
Wednesday 21st December 2016 @ 06:06 by Adam Higgins
Ashton Community News

Big-hearted National Lottery winners from Tameside have helped transform facilities at a baby hospice.

Sean and Mel Lloyd – a couple from Ashton, who scooped £1.8m in January 2015 – were among a number of lottery winners to pledge funds for the charity Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.

Sean swapped life on the buses for a life of luxury after the lottery win in January last year, which he put down to a ‘lucky penny’ he had found and which he rubbed on his lottery ticket after buying it.

“I had just finished my shift on the bus and was going to get my lunch when I noticed a shiny penny on the floor outside the shop and I just felt lucky,” explained Sean.

“I thought, ‘this is my lucky day, I am going to buy a lottery ticket’. I bought my ticket and rubbed the penny on the ticket – just to bring me some extra luck.”

The ‘penny from heaven’ certainly paid off and means the kind hearted couple have been able to help various charities too.

They clubbed together with other lottery winners from across the region, who together have a combined wealth of £90 million.

They all gave Santa and his elves a run for their money, when they helped to turn a simple wood cabin into a magical super-sized gingerbread playhouse for Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice.

The National Lottery winners gifted the festive Gingerbread playhouse for the young children and their siblings to enjoy.

Zoe’s Place Baby Hospice provides palliative, respite and end-of-life care to very young children aged from birth to five years suffering from life-limiting or life-threatening conditions.

Designed to provide ‘home away from home’ care for very poorly babies, the hospice sees that families recharge their batteries and spend valuable time with their other children or have the chance to catch up on much needed sleep.

The lottery winners from across the region worked tirelessly over 24 hours to create the Gingerbread house and fill it with gifts and toys for the hospice and young visitors to enjoy.

Using more than 100 litres of paint, 60 paintbrushes, 30 rollers, 40 bespoke wooden shapes, six sacks of fake snow and 25 metres of twinkly lights, the finished cabin bought tears of joy to the Zoe’s Place team.

Sean said: “Zoe’s Place has a magical feel about it and the staff are incredible. We are all so pleased to be able to provide such a colourful gingerbread playhouse which will hopefully bring lots of joy to the young people here, their siblings and their families.

“While my life changed overnight with the win, it’s good to know that other incredibly important local projects just like this are also lottery winners.”

Flo Berquist, Head of Care at Zoe’s Place said: “We are absolutely overjoyed that the lottery winners have chosen to come to us and spend their time creating something so wonderful.

“We could never have dreamed of owning something like this. It is absolutely fantastic and will bring hours of joy to so many children, including the siblings of our poorly children.”

Zoe’s Place is just one of thousands of projects in the North West to benefit from National Lottery funding thanks to players.

Since the launch of The National Lottery, £3.1 billion has been shared with 44,000 projects across the region, covering a diverse range of sectors from arts, heritage, sport, education, environment, health and charity.