The Rushmoor Community Lottery has celebrated its first birthday, with a party at Aldershot’s West End Centre.

The lottery was set up a year ago by Rushmoor Borough Council as a way for local community groups, sports clubs, good causes and charities to raise funds for their work.

40,000 tickets have been sold in the first year helping to raise over £25,000 for good causes and more than £4,000 in cash prizes has been won.

The party, was an opportunity to thank the 87 strong group of good causes and organisations who have signed up to be part of the lottery over the last 12 months and to give some special awards, which were presented by the Mayor of Rushmoor Councillor, Stephen Masterson and the Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor David Clifford.

Farnborough Rugby Club were presented with the award for the most tickets sold and a glass trophy, having sold more than 3,500 tickets and raised in excess of £1,700 for the club in their first year.

Citizens Advice Rushmoor, were presented with the award for the best use of social media to promote the Rushmoor Community Lottery and their efforts to spread the word locally.

Aldershot Royal Naval Association received an award for boosting their tickets the most across the summer period and in the build up to the first anniversary draw.

Farnborough Football Club had the most ‘far flung’ lottery supporter up in Cumbria.

All the party guests joined together to toast the Rushmoor Community Lottery, sing Happy Birthday and to cut a specially decorated cake.  Live music was provided by local musician, Mikey Riley who has been supported by the Forward 4 Wiz Trust, another one of the lottery good causes.

Volunteers from Parkside (Aldershot & District Learning Disability) kindly helped to serve all the guests refreshments.  Parkside is another good cause doing very well with their fundraising efforts through the lottery, having raised more the £670 this year to support their work with young people and adults with learning disabilities.

The Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, Councillor David Clifford said: “£25,000 in our first year is a fantastic amount and we would like to thank everyone for their support so far.  The Rushmoor Community Lottery is a way for local groups not only to fundraise, but also to raise awareness of the work they do in the community.  It was a pleasure to meet everyone and to hear first-hand, how the money has been benefiting them.”

Councillor Gareth Lyon, Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services at Rushmoor Borough Council added: “We’d like to thank everyone who has been supporting Rushmoor’s good causes by buying Rushmoor Community Lottery tickets.  This is a brand new source of funding, so it’s wonderful to see the money going straight to all the community groups, sports clubs, societies and schools that have signed up – it is a real boost to their fundraising efforts.”

Tickets for the lottery cost £1 and qualifying good causes (who have registered) will receive 50p for every ticket their supporters buy.

A further ten pence from every ticket sold goes into the Rushmoor Community Fund, which community groups and projects will be invited to bid for.

The online lottery draw takes places weekly, with a jackpot of £25,000 for a matching sequence of six numbers, other prizes being £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets.

For further information about the lottery and to buy tickets, visit the Rushmoor Community Lottery website.