Double Olympic gold medalist Dame Kelly Holmes spoke recently about how players of People's Postcode Lottery have enabled her charity, the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, to transform the lives of thousands of young people across the UK. Dame Kelly Holmes said:
"When players started supporting our work back in 2014, it marked a significant turning point for my Trust; it allowed us to take our proven model into new areas across the UK and transform the lives of more young people facing disadvantage than ever before.
"What we do is develop and train world-class athletes to mentor young people who need our support most. We use athletes because this group are naturally high performing and proven to be exceptional leaders for change in young people and communities.
"We fundamentally believe that every young person – no matter what their background or current circumstances – has the potential to lead a positive life.
"The continued support from players has not just enabled us to deliver programmes for the first time in Scotland, Wales, and rural communities across England, but most importantly allowed us to become sustainable in these areas.
"Once we're able to prove the impact of our programmes on the lives of local young people, this creates lots more opportunities for us to expand our work in that area. This is what makes the support we receive from players even more valuable than just the projects they help fund directly.
"Because of this, I've met young people who had lost all hope be able to completely turn their lives around. I'd urge you watch the story of Jodie, a young woman on our Bridgend project who believed her life could never really amount to anything until she met Welsh rugby union international Philippa Tuttiett.
"As a result of exceptional mentoring from Philippa, coupled with the opportunities our programmes offer, she's been empowered to completely change her outlook and go on to find employment, lead a healthy lifestyle, and contribute within her local community.
"She's just one example of a young person who has all the attitudes and potential needed to go on to be successful in every aspect of her life. It just takes one exceptional person to help them realise this, which is the reason why we exist.
"Players also shared our vision last year that a young person's postcode shouldn't determine their life chances. This allowed us to go into some of the UK's most deprived areas with our new school-based isolation offering.
"In just four months, we were able to impact 240 students from 36 schools in rural and remote communities. This short film shows the impact that former Commonwealth swimmer Caitlin McClatchey, Olympian James Kirton, and Paralympian Darren Harris were able to have on the lives of students on the programme.
"Continued support from players will enable us to continue targeting those who need our help most, not those who are easiest to reach – this is why last year we ran programmes for care leavers, homeless people, young offenders, women at risk of sexual exploitation, and those living within isolated communities.
"I just want to say a huge thank you to the amazing players for all the support you've given my charity over the years. I can't wait to see the impact we can continue to have together over the coming years."