Agroup of six lottery volunteers, who won more than £3 million, donned their overalls to help a Bury St Edmunds hospice this week as they did a makeover on the garden of St Nicholas Hospice Care, to have it ready for the summer.
These Lottery winners worked on the garden by painting, sanding and staining furniture, tidying the grounds, and turning over flowerbeds.
Among the group were four men from the Milburn Centre construction and building services department, each of them went home with £50,000.
Martin Cribb, construction lecturer and leader of the syndicate, was the one who informed the others after he had double-checked their win. He sent them an e-mail in which he chose to reserve the amount of the prize.
He said: “Celebrating a £1m win with our fellow syndicate members last year was very special. It is good to be together a year later marking that wonderful occasion by giving a little something back. We all work at West Suffolk College in the construction and building Services department, so we’ve been in our element. Helping St Nicholas Hospice Care is particularly poignant for me because my father was looked after so wonderfully by a local hospice when he was ill. I’d like to think dad would have been very proud of our efforts today.”
Jean Swatman, who is a baker from Lowestoft and won over £2m at Lotto jackpot back in 2013 joined the group. This grandmother of five retired from her work in 2014 and celebrated her retirement by having a party with her friends.
She said: “Being a lottery winner is just brilliant, I’ve been able to help so many of those closest to me, but it’s also important to put a bit back. Helping out we’ve been able to see first-hand how important the hospice is and we hope our work makes things just a little easier for those coming into this garden. We had a lovely day pruning, painting, sweeping and resting.”
Georgina Bissell, the hospice’s acting director of marketing and fundraising, said: “Since our first award in 1999, we have received more than £1m from the Big Lottery Fund, most recently an award of £46,682 to develop the gardens at our outreach hub in Haverhill. The garden and our entrance area look amazing, and I know everybody will be overjoyed with the result.”
St Nicholas Hospice Care is a charity providing help, advice and support to people in West Suffolk and Thetford who are living with long-term and life-threatening illnesses.