ST Luke’s Hospice Lottery turns 30 this month.

Since the first draw back in July 1994, the lottery has grown to become the charity’s biggest single source of income, raising more than £14 million.

It has also paid out more than £2 million to lucky local winners such as Laura Wakeling, who scooped the Rollover jackpot in October last year winning £5,000.

The 29-year-old has supported the hospice since her grandmother, Carole Gillett, was cared for by the Inpatient Unit in Winsford eight years ago.

 “My Nana was only in St Luke’s for a very short time, but for those three days she was comfortable, her pain was managed, the nurses were so supportive and she passed away very peacefully in their care,” said Laura.

“She was only 58 and I was very close to her so I can never thank St Luke’s enough for everything they did.

“When I told my grandad I’d won the Lottery he said ‘That’s your present from Nana’.”

The win couldn’t have come at a better time for Laura as she was in the process of buying her first home in Winsford with her boyfriend.

She added: “I didn’t join the Lottery to win, I pay each month so that the care my Nana received can be given to someone else.

“£4 a month isn’t a lot – I don’t even notice it coming out of my account – but it goes a long way for the hospice!”

Andy Bailey from St Luke's fundraising team hands a cheque to lottery winner Laura WakelingAndy Bailey from St Luke's fundraising team hands a cheque to lottery winner Laura Wakeling (Image: Supplied)

More than 17,600 people play St Luke’s Lottery each week, with 599 of them having played since the very start, including 82-year-old Ev Mellor.

The Winsford resident said: “It’s been a pleasure over the last 30 years to know that I’m doing my bit to help local people who need the Hospice. It only costs £1 a week, less than a loaf of bread, and it’s nice to feel that I’m helping.

“I’d encourage anyone to join the St Luke’s Lottery and do what they can to support the nurses and doctors. The Hospice does such good work and it needs our support.”

Mike Lea has been a volunteer lottery collector since it launched 30 years ago.

“The best part of the job is the people. I’ve seen families grow up, learned about their lives, and enjoyed friendly chats with them. I pop round every 5-10 weeks, and it’s lovely to catch up with people,” said Mike.

Volunteer Mike LeaVolunteer Mike Lea (Image: Supplied)

St Luke’s ward sister Sarah Boulton added: “We are incredibly grateful to our loyal supporters who play the Lottery each week.

“It costs just £1 a week to play the St Luke’s Lottery – the same as it did back in 1994 – but all of those pounds add up and really do make such a huge difference to our Hospice.

“Over the last 30 years the Lottery has raised more than £14 million to help fund the special care and support we provide to our patients and their families. That is the equivalent of one week of care on our Inpatient Unit every month which is really incredible.

“Throughout July we will be celebrating the Lottery and hope to encourage other local people to sign up for just £1 a week. It really is the easiest way to support your local hospice – and you might just win!”

St Luke's ward sister Sarah BoultonSt Luke's ward sister Sarah Boulton (Image: Supplied)

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