The UK National Lottery has marked the upcoming one year anniversary of lockdown with the release of its new video campaign, paying tribute to ‘lockdown legends’ across Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The National Lottery’s £1.2 billion package has supported the arts, heritage, sports and charity sectors during this turbulent period. The funding has also benefited thousands of initiatives across the UK, promoting physical and mental health and providing support for vulnerable groups by tackling loneliness and isolation.

“Thanks to The National Lottery’s players, we have been able to offer comprehensive packages of support to thousands of projects throughout the UK over the last year,” remarked Ros Kerslake, Chair of The National Lottery Forum.

“This funding has helped alleviate some of the significant and unprecedented challenges faced by the community, arts, heritage and sports sectors as a result of the pandemic. None of this would have been possible without the important work of amazing and dedicated people throughout the UK who keep these projects going.”

The National Lottery has backed local and grassroots sports clubs, including the North Wales Crusaders Wheelchair Rugby League and Disability Sports Club. The grant allowed the team to find an alternative wheelchair storage facility after giving up their Deeside base to be turned into a hospital.

Stephen Jones, Head Coach and Trustee, earmarked the funding from the National Lottery as crucial to the club’s survival, after revenue streams dried up: “We’re not the only club who have suffered through COVID, but because of The National Lottery, at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel with funding for us.”

The video produced by the National Lottery highlights the ‘unprecedented challenges’ that local communities have faced and encourages them to ‘strive for better days ahead’, with a new roadmap in place to exit the national lockdown.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, explained: “The National Lottery has contributed enormously to the whole country building back better from the pandemic. This massive £1 billion contribution has made a significant difference to the lives of so many by providing critical financial support for our communities in need.”

National Lottery celebrates ‘lockdown legends’ in video campaign