Lottery winners lend a hand to support Sussex veterans charity

AN ARMY of lottery winners donned steel-toed boots and volunteered for a day of hard work in support of a veterans’ charity.

With a combined wealth of £146million, the team of 21 winners – including some army and navy veterans – volunteered for Veterans Growth in Hastings, which offers horticultural therapy to people with mental health problems.

Millionaire labor got stuck building a wheelchair accessible path, cold frame, potting seedlings to be displayed at an exhibition at the Chelsea Flower Show and from the installation of a new fence to keep out a herd of marauding cattle that had escaped to get a closer look and taste of the association’s garden.

Paul Mcdonald joined the team, which earned over £1million in December last year.

Paul Mcdonald in cold constriction service with his partner Erika Keszthelyi

Paul, 48, from Bexhill, said: “I’ve done volunteer work before and also fundraised for veterans. I also had family members who have been in the services, so when we got the invitation, it was impossible to say no.

“It’s also great to be around other people who have experienced a miracle.”

Jason Stevens, founder of Veterans’ Growth and a 16-year veteran in the military, knows first-hand the benefits of horticultural therapy for improving mental health.

He said: “When I was medically discharged from the army, horticulture was my savior and that motivated me to start the charity.

“A big part of what we do is to make sure that the people who receive our services know that someone cares about them, that they don’t feel isolated, that they can gain confidence, knowledge and experience in a supportive environment.

‘The next veterans who come to us won’t necessarily know that a workforce worth £146million have paved the wheelchair accessible path or built the cold frame they will use for potting , but we will always remember this day and be touched by the hard work of the winners, their good humor and that they gave of their time in this way.

Lottery players generate over £30million each week for a range of projects and charities, with over £45billion raised and distributed to National Lottery ‘good causes’ through over 660 000 individual grants.

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