Watford retailer Chirag Mehta – proprietor of New Hollands News & Wine – has been awarded a National Lottery Good Causes plaque by Gagan Mohindra MP at a special presentation at his store on Rickmansworth High Street last week.
Chirag and his customers have helped raise an amazing £1.1 million for Good Causes through the sale of National Lottery products. This exceptional achievement meant he was picked out by Camelot and Gagan to receive the award. CEO of National Lottery operator Camelot, Nigel Railton, was also at the event to celebrate Chirag’s and his customers’ accomplishment.
Gagan said: “Thanks to National Lottery players and to independent shops like New Hollands News & Wine, over £25 million has been raised for National Lottery charities and Good Causes in South West Hertfordshire alone since 1994, while the total raised for projects across the UK now exceeds £41 billion.
“Chirag’s shop is local to where I live, which makes presenting him and his family with this award even more special. It’s always important to recognise those people and businesses that do so much for their local communities. The Mehta family have done so much for Rickmansworth but also for communities right across the UK, through helping to raise funding for National Lottery Good Causes.
“One of those Good Causes projects is actually just around the corner from here, at Rickmansworth School, which has a National Lottery-funded swimming pool. This particular project has been so important to the local community here, ensuring that swimming was put back on the school’s curriculum several years ago - all thanks to the funding.”
Camelot CEO, Nigel Railton, added: “I’m delighted that Gagan was able to present this award to Chirag, especially as Camelot’s head office in Watford falls within his constituency – so he’s our local MP.
“Independent retailers are vitally important to the success of The National Lottery, providing a great service to our players across the country. In these difficult times, it is great to be able to celebrate their achievements.
“Thanks to National Lottery retailers and players, an average of £30 million is raised every week for Good Causes across the UK. Given what the country is going through, this is even more important right now, with up to £600 million in National Lottery funding being used by charities and organisations to help those affected by coronavirus – including £300 million to support the most vulnerable in communities across the UK.”
Chirag said: “As the store owner for the last five years, I’m really honoured to receive this award from my local MP and Camelot – it’ll serve as a great reminder of the enormous amount of funding my customers have helped to raise for such worthy causes.”
Although Camelot is responsible for generating returns to Good Causes by operating The National Lottery, it plays no role in the allocation of funding. This is the specific responsibility of 12 lottery distribution bodies, each with specialist knowledge of their sectors. For anyone currently looking for funding, please visit https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/funding to find out which grants are available to your project.