Four lottery millionaires who won £4million between them have been putting together care packs for new mums and families in crisis as they look to “pay it forward”
Image: Jonathan Buckmaster)
A team of millionaire lottery winners rolled up their sleeves to “pay it forward” and help make care packages for struggling families.
Mums Rebecca Haines, Lesley Herbert, Sammie Mackie and Di Foster – who won a total of £4million between them – joined volunteers making care packs for new mums and families in crisis.
Mum-of-four Lesley Herbert, 43, told how she still suffers from “winners guilt” after she won £2m on a scratchcard last year.
Before her life-changing windfall she had been living in housing association accommodation, but has now been able to buy her own home in Basingstoke, Hampshire, which she shares with her beloved rescue pets – and even has a dedicated room to spare for her three parrots.
She told The Mirror: “Winners’ guilt is something we all struggle with and still do because we know there’s so many people who deserve to win.
“It makes me feel really bad that people are struggling for food, clothes and warmth – and that’s why I want to help.”
Rebecca Haines, 52, who won £1m with her husband Malcolm last January, is planning to continue volunteering at The Cowshed, Berkshire.
Bosses at the crisis charity have already seen referrals for support rocket by 400% and are expecting to help hundreds of Ukrainian refugees in the coming months.
Rebecca, from Earley, Berks, told The Mirror: “We have been really lucky and it’s good to pass on some good who aren’t in the same position.”
Gran Di Foster, 62, from Tilehurst, Berkshire, had fallen on hard times before her £1m Lotto win last April after she was laid off from her job as a kitchen worker.
But now she has been able to buy her own home – and one each for her two grown-up daughters.
“It feels like I am paying something back to know that I am helping people who are worse off than me,” she said.
Mum-of-two boys Sammie Mackie, 35, scored her £1m windfall on the EuroMillions seven years ago.
The day they got their winnings, she and her husband put a deposit down on their first home in Basingstoke.
“We are just so grateful and so glad that my husband did that last minute ticket on a Friday evening,” she said.
The Cowshed, which has received National Lottery funding, provides tailored referral bags of good quality cleaned and ironed clothes, and other essentials, free to anyone in need – from mothers leaving abusive homes with nothing but the clothes they are wearing, to families on the breadline unable to buy school uniforms.
Founder Sally Russell said: “We’ve really enjoyed working with the local National Lottery winners and are very touched that they have given up their time in this way.
“So much of what we do is making sure that the recipients of our services know someone cares, that they don’t feel like they have failed in some way.
“The care and attention these millionaire mums have given to everything they have done today reflects our values to a tee.
“The last 12 months has been incredibly tough for many people who previously wouldn’t have dreamt they would ever find themselves in the situation they do, in the last year demand for our services has increased by 400%.
“We have helped almost 7,000 adults and children in the last year and with the continued challenges of the world stage, we anticipate there will be an even greater need in the coming months, whether refugees fleeing war or households plunged into poverty due to the rising cost of living.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.