Skip to main content


11th Tachwedd 2016

Press release

October 2016


The British Red Cross in Abergele and Royal Voluntary Service received a huge surprise when a National Lottery player shocked them by revealing their application for funding has been successful.

The organisations were presented with a cheque for £932,766 at the launch of The National Lottery’s ‘Thank You Wales’ campaign, which allows players to visit projects who benefit when they buy a ticket.

Roxanne Rylance from Colwyn Bay, who has been playing The National Lottery for more than 10 years, visited the charities in Abergele to tell them that that their Big Lottery Fund application for funding to launch a new Positive Steps service had been successful.

The service from both charities will help older people in crisis across North and Mid Wales. It will increase their confidence, improve their mental and emotional wellbeing and reduce isolation. Volunteers from the Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service will encourage older people to play a more active role within their community. They will support them to improve their social networks, regain their independence, and build their resilience to cope in times of crisis.

Dave Worrall, service manager at the Red Cross said:

“Both Royal Voluntary Service and the Red Cross are delighted to receive this National Lottery funding from the Big Lottery Fund. It will allow volunteers from both charities to work together to support vulnerable people across north and mid Wales who are dealing with a specific crisis in their lives. Sadly, many older people have lost contact with their communities due to illness, mobility problems or bereavement. The Red Cross and Royal Voluntary Service will work together to help them regain their confidence, improve their mental and emotional wellbeing and ultimately support them to find solutions that re-establish their independence and allow them to re-connect with their community.”

Lesley Thompson, Head of Support and Development in Wales for Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We know that many older people need support after a crisis which is why this funding is hugely appreciated. Once British Red Cross has provided the initial support needed, our valued volunteers will help the older person get the best out of life.”

Roxanne Rylance spoke about her experience. Roxie – who runs creative design agency, Blah with her husband in Llandudno - said: “I was humbled to be a part of the big surprise. It’s not every day you get to hand over a cheque for almost a million pounds! Knowing that the money is going to such a good cause makes the experience even more special.

“It was a really tense moment when Dave Worrall from the Red Cross opened the envelope and let everyone know about the funding. There were a lot of tears and hugs, and I was trying not to cry myself – it was overwhelming.

“I’ve been playing the National Lottery for more than 10 years and am part of a syndicate at work. When you buy a ticket you usually think about the money up for grabs, but I’ve never really thought too much about the fact that some of my ticket money goes to such deserving charities and community groups like this.

“It’s been a great experience to be involved in the campaign, and I’m sure the other National Lottery players will have an equally rewarding experience when they visit other projects across Wales. I’ll definitely be spreading the word about where the money goes from now on, especially after seeing the impact it has first-hand, and how many people benefit as a result.”

Jackie O’Sullivan, Director of National Lottery Good Causes, said:

“National Lottery players have raised a massive £1.6 billion to fund projects right across Wales. The ‘Thank you Wales’ campaign is thanking lottery players, without whom none of this would have been possible. We want to make National Lottery players aware of the thousands of fantastic projects across Wales that would never get off the ground if it weren’t for their money.”

Positive Steps is one of seven projects across Wales sharing in £3,479,433 as part of the latest round of the Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places funding. (For a full list of awards, click here).

Watch the video of Roxanne surprising the British Red Cross here –


Nodiadau i olygyddion

About National Lottery Good Causes and Big Lottery Fund

  • Since The National Lottery began in 1994, players have raised over £1.6 billion for over 46,000 projects in Wales, impacting on all aspects of Welsh life
  • National Lottery players raise around £36 million a week for projects across the UK.
  • The money is awarded by organisations with specialist knowledge of their sectors. The Big Lottery Fund awarded the Positive Steps grant, while Sport Wales, Arts Council of Wales and Heritage Lottery Fund also distribute National Lottery funding in Wales, The British Film Institute (BFI) supports film in Wales, and UK Sport supports Welsh elite athletes.
  • The UK’s National Lottery gives one of the highest percentages of lottery revenue back to society in the world.
  • Big Lottery Fund supports people who want to make life better for their communities. +It invests in projects big and small for health, education, environment and charitable purposes. These make a difference to people and communities in need, from early years intervention to commemorative travel funding for World War Two veterans.
  • Positive Steps received funding under Big Lottery Fund’s People and Places programme. People and Places awards grants of between £5,001 and £1 million for a broad range of community projects. For further information please visit

About the British Red Cross

  • The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. It is part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
  • It enables vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, it helps them to recover and move on with their lives.

About Royal Voluntary Service

  • Formerly known as WRVS, Royal Voluntary Service has been helping people in Britain for 75 years.
  • Originally set up as the Women’s Voluntary Service in 1938, the charity played a crucial role during the Second World War.
  • Whilst keeping the same values of community service, Royal Voluntary Service has now focused its work on helping older people to remain independent and get more out of life.
  • Royal Voluntary Service is one of the largest voluntary organisations in Britain with 35,000 men and women helping people in their homes, the community, hospitals and in emergencies.
  • The charity is a founding member of the Campaign to End Loneliness, a partner in the Big Lottery funded project, Shaping our Age, a supporter of the Malnutrition Task Force and a member of the Care and Support Alliance, the Falls and Fractures Alliance, Age Action Alliance and the Dementia Action Alliance.
  • Royal Voluntary Service has Investing in Volunteers status in recognition of its good practice and effective volunteer management.
  • For more information on the Royal Voluntary Service please visit