Good causes across the city are encouraged to bid for one-off grants from the Portsmouth Lottery.
When Portsmouth City Council launched the lottery in 2016, its mission was to find a way to make a real difference to local charities, not-for-profits and good causes in the city. Eight months in, the council is beginning to see their hard work pay off.
As things stand at the start of July, causes are on track to benefit from more than £70,000 this year. Since January the small grants panel, which makes one-off awards from the central fund, has awarded of £17,000 to some of the city's hardest working good causes.
One cause that's seen the benefit is Portsmouth Downs Syndrome Association, based in the Sarah Duffen Centre, Southsea. The charity provides specialist educational services and social opportunities for children with Downs syndrome. They support more than 100 families and countless education professionals in Portsmouth, South Hampshire - and beyond.
"We first heard about the Portsmouth Lottery through one of our volunteers. We registered online with no problems, and were one of the first causes to apply to the Portsmouth Lottery small grants fund in November 2016" says Rachael Ross, Chair, Portsmouth Downs Syndrome Association.
"We received £988 to fund our drama therapy sessions. All children with Downs syndrome experience significant speech and language delay and have poor short term memory. Drama sessions empower children to speak more confidently, and they follow the Arts Award Programme - a nationally recognised drama qualification.
"As a self-funded charity offering world class support to children with Downs syndrome, the Portsmouth Lottery offers an invaluable opportunity to raise funds. As well as the £988 awarded by the small grants panel, we've raised £663 from ticket sales. It's easy to set up, and the Portsmouth Lottery team were on hand to answer our questions. When people with Downs syndrome are given the opportunity to participate, the whole community benefits - so we want to say a huge than you to the lottery and everyone who bought a ticket."
Supporting great causes like the Portsmouth Downs Syndrome Association is just the start of the journey says Cllr Luke Stubbs, cabinet member for Health and Social Care and small grants panel member. "We're proud to be able to support a vibrant third sector in the city. We've seen the impact these grants can have, so we'd encourage good causes across the whole city to find out more about the Portsmouth Lottery small grants fund - and maybe even submit an application."
How to apply
The deadline for the next round of applications is 5pm Friday 14 July. Good causes, charities and not-for-profits can find out more about eligibility and how to apply by visiting the Portsmouth Lottery - small grants fund page.
Fancy a flutter?
You can play Portsmouth Lottery your way. There's a 1-in-50 chance of winning a prize - but with 60p in every £1 going to Portsmouth good causes, one thing that's certain is you're making a difference locally. Play online by visiting www.portsmouthlottery.co.uk or by calling 023 9319 0888.