A community lottery is being launched by the South Downs National Park Trust to help support its vital projects.
The online community lottery is set to help further protect and enhance the National Park for future generations.
Julie Fawcett, a trustee and chair of the South Downs National Park Trust, said: “This community lottery is an innovative way to support the charity’s vital work in caring for the landscape, biodiversity and local communities of the National Park.
“We want to see more rare habitats protected, more local communities thriving and more people able to access the National Park.
“This requires more investment and we want to direct the substantial goodwill that exists for the South Downs to places where it can make a real difference.
“A community lottery is one of the ways we’re raising funds to support our work. It adds an element of fun to giving that encourages people to sign up to a regular, modest contribution to the charity.
“With every charity’s budget under increasing pressure, it provides a great opportunity to help the Trust raise additional money to fund worthwhile causes.”
With a top prize of £25,000, the first draw will take place on October 19. To mark the launch of the initiative, there will also be a bolt-on prize of a holiday in the South Downs.
The draw will be weekly with a jackpot of £25,000 for a matching sequence of six numbers and other prizes being £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets. Tickets cost £1 with 50p going towards the South Downs National Park.
A fully-accredited lottery management company, Gatherwell, has been appointed to run the initiative, having already launched similar lotteries for local authorities and not-for-profits, with over 5,000 good causes benefitting.
The community lottery will help the Trust, which is an independent charity, fund a number of key projects including:
n Supporting more children to get outside and learn in the National Park.
n Improving walking and cycling routes, including refurbishing broken sections of the South Downs Way and creating new Miles Without Stiles routes for people with limited mobility.
n Working with Butterfly Conservation to plant 550 disease-resistant elm trees to support the recovery of the rare White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly.
n Aiming to re-establishing 6,000 metres of historic hedgerow providing wildlife corridors for a range of species.
Ben Speare, Gatherwell’s managing director, said: “We’re delighted that Gatherwell has been awarded the opportunity to run the new South Downs National Park Trust Lottery.
“Players have lots of options of how to pay, including monthly recurring payment in advance via direct debit or payment card, as well as the option to do a one, three, six or 12 month one-off subscription by payment card.
“Winners will be informed via email and will have the option to transfer the money into their chosen bank account or to donate it back to the Trust.”
Each ticket has a one in 50 chance to win a prize each week.
Updates on the progress of the lottery will be posted on the Trust’s website and Twitter pages @SouthDownsTrust To find out more visit www.southdownstrust.org.uk