The National Lottery has teamed up with singer and actress Alexandra Burke, Love Island winner Liam Reardon, Olympic cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy and Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle to unveil four new striking installations across the UK, to inspire change and encourage communities to think about how they might use some of the £30million raised for good causes each week.
The anamorphic artworks, created by leading arts collective Greyworld and inspired by National Lottery funded projects, showcase four words via an explosion of National Lottery balls. The words BUILD, DREAMS, CREATE, CHANGE bring to life the results that can be achieved through National Lottery funding.
Each installation has been made from more than 636 National Lottery balls, which represent the 636,000 and more organisations that benefit from the funding across the sports, art, heritage and community sectors – from the Olympic Medals to Stonehenge, to local sports clubs and community theatre groups.
Singer and actress Alexandra Burke, who unveiled ‘Change’ in London’s Trafalgar Square, said: “What I love about working in music and performing arts is its ability to connect people and to inspire creativity as we push boundaries together. The National Lottery really gives so many venues, productions, and artists around the UK the ability to stage the events and performances we love - and have missed - so much.
“I’ve been lucky enough to experience first-hand this impact, having performed at places like the amazing Union Chapel in my hometown in Islington, which has received National Lottery funding over the years. I find it so inspiring how the funding also goes to smaller organisations where these grants make life-changing differences. If we can continue to support and protect our community, we will be able to future-proof it for generations to come and make so many dreams a reality.”
The installation unveiling comes as new research out today reveals that community gardens, independent shops and exhibitions are some of things people in the UK want to see more of in their local communities.
In the research, people revealed that their hopes and dreams for their local communities in 2022 included having more mental health support groups, being able to afford improvements to places and spaces that matter, and for more entertainment facilities. Among the things currently valued in their communities were walking/hiking trails, parks, and public transport. However, people would also like to see more wellbeing centres, libraries and beehouses.
The research revealed that people last saw improvements in their neighbourhood an average of 17 months ago, and 46 per cent claim they aren’t made regularly enough. When it comes to what communities believe currently needs improving, almost 20 per cent said their community needs a friendlier neighbourhood and 16 per cent want more social schemes and venues, with almost 50 per cent saying that they’re now more interested in their community since the pandemic.
Half of those polled believe improvements to their community would result in a happier atmosphere, however the research also found that 41 per cent have noticed enhancements over the past decade, including more community events, green spaces and sports clubs – all areas that National Lottery funding supports.
Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, says: “For 27 years National Lottery funding has been transforming communities, turning dreams into reality and making life better for millions of people. As we emerge from what has been a desperately challenging time, we want to inject hope and encourage communities to imagine what they could achieve with a helping hand from The National Lottery. With £30million raised for good causes each week, we have grants available from £3,000 to £5million. By coming together as communities, and as a nation, we can build, dream and create to change our future for the better and for generations to come.”
Research continued to reveal that we are in fact a nation of community heroes thanks to the pandemic, with 39 per cent saying they now take part in activities that make a positive impact in their local area. Almost 30 per cent of people now actively think how they can make a difference in their community. And 24 per cent are personally involved in roles within their community, including being part of the neighbourhood watch, running a social media group and helping out with sports and church events.
The installations across the UK will be available to view from 15th November in Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 16th November in Antrim Castle Garden, Antrim, 17th November in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff and 18th November in Trafalgar Square, London.
To find out more about National Lottery funding go to https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding