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Emotional Mother's Day Surprise for Supermum Edna

16th March 2015

Edna Smith, an 80 year-old volunteer with Lottery-funded charity, Home-Start, has improved the lives of hundreds of children with parents struggling to cope with post-natal depression and low self-esteem. The local community filled a cinema to surprise Edna and to say a heartfelt thanks...

80 year-old volunteer Edna Smith has cared for hundreds of kids over the last fifteen years at Lottery-funded Home-Start, one of the UK’s leading family support charities, as well as her own 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren...

Edna Smith was moved to tears by her surprise as her friends, family and those she has helped crammed into a cinema to say a heartfelt thank you.

The National Lottery arranged the surprise for Edna because she has improved the lives of so many children through her voluntary work at Home-Start Blaby District, Oadby and Wigston.

With her boundless energy, Edna has been a tower of strength to families struggling to cope in Leicestershire. She has been a surrogate mother to dozens of children – visiting their homes to lend a hand and being a friend to them and their parents - as well as helping out at two local Home-Start groups.

She went to the Odeon in Leicester thinking she would be watching a film. When the lights went down, the National Lottery played a film all about Edna, with friends and Home-Start families praising her.

Edna couldn’t believe what was happening:

“I was astonished to see that I was the star of the show. It was a wonderful surprise. I have enjoyed helping families through my work with Home-Start and never expected that people would go to such lengths to show such appreciation.”

Edna’s daughter, Julie Brooks, says Edna is one in a million:

“Edna is special because she gives so much unconditional love and support. Mum has always been there for her family and the children she has supported through Home-Start, offering love and guidance. She never criticises or judges people, giving advice when asked, but never interfering. I am proud that her influence on so many people’s lives has been recognised.”

Local Home-Starts across the UK have received have received £8.5 million of National Lottery funding since 2005 through 95 grants from the BIG Lottery Fund, one of the distributors of National Lottery funding. National Lottery players have raised £33 billion for community, arts, sport and heritage projects in the UK since the first National Lottery draw in 1994.

Notes to editors

Film and photography is available, rights-free, from the National Lottery Promotions Unit. Edna is also available for interview. Please contact Michael Thompson on 07734 295745.