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25 years of our lottery

Back when our lottery started 25 years ago, 18-year-old Sam Poole started a Youth Training Scheme work placement at the hospice, helping with administration as well as the newly launched lottery.

Fast forward quarter of a century and Sam is still a key member of our team, providing support to our ever-busy fundraising department.

“I had never worked before and had never been to a hospice and I was a little nervous. It turned out that it was a lovely place with lots of services including respite care and the day unit and everyone I worked with was very kind,” she says.

“I was so shy. It was my first time in an office environment, and I didn’t know much about charities and fundraising. I was truly amazed at people’s generosity when I found out patients didn’t pay for their treatment and that the community fundraised and donated for it. To this day, I am still regularly speechless when I hear about all the awesome fundraising feats people do for us.”

The lottery

In 1995 the world was yet to succumb to the powers of the computer and that meant a lot of paperwork. “When I started helping in the lottery office it was all very new – just like me! You would never have guessed how much behind the scenes manual work there was; there were no computers back then,” says Sam.

“Everything came in paper form, there was lots of cash to be counted, payments to be checked, bundles of printing on the old perforated paper and reams of photocopying. Down one huge wall there was a massive board with collection dates and all the different areas around Shropshire and Mid Wales.”

Community support

Sam says that she can’t believe how quickly the community got behind the idea and started playing the lottery to support others who needed our care. “People loved being part of it and helping others. Most supported the cause so they could help those we care for. I never knew anyone who just wanted to win. We soon had a lot of regulars who would come in to pay and I got to know them really well – so well that I knew many of their numbers off by heart.”

The team quickly took on the challenge to increase lottery members and raise more funds for those living with incurable illness across Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales.

Sam adds: “We were very efficient. We worked towards getting so many people to play and we were chuffed to bits when we reached our targets. I remember when we had 8,000 members and we were so happy. Now we have around 22,000 entries a year and raise almost £1 million towards care – it really is amazing to see.”

Help us continue to care. Get your £1-a-week ticket now or call one of the Lottery team on 01743 455319.


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