Project ‘wins’ £9k from Lotto

AIMS: Inspire Wakefield is aiming to drum up volunteers and charity funds for the 2017 Dragon Boat Race.
AIMS: Inspire Wakefield is aiming to drum up volunteers and charity funds for the 2017 Dragon Boat Race.

A project to inspire volunteers in Wakefield has won nearly £9,000 in National Lottery funding.

‘Inspire Wakefield’, which is linked to the annual Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge on July 8, is aiming to build a solid base of helpers.

It has just received £8,780 from the Big Lottery Fund. The project is the brainchild of charity professional Samantha Lambert and Rotarian Bob Guard.

Its wants to get many more smaller charities and organisations involved in the Dragon Boat event.

It will also encourage them to recruit volunteers to raise funds for their good causes.

Sam Lambert said “Many smaller charities struggle to get volunteers to help them raise funds so we looked for ways we could help.

“By getting them involved in the Dragon Boat event, we can help them with the job of getting volunteers to take part and generate sponsorship funds for the benefit of the charities. We are effectively helping them to help themselves.”

The boat race has raised more than £200,000 in eight years. Lead organiser Mr Guard said: “Every year the amount raised goes up thanks to the efforts of the volunteers from Wakefield Chantry and Huddersfield Rotary Clubs, who stage it.

“Because we don’t want to stand still, this year we brought Sam Lambert on board to work on the lottery application and also the recruitment of teams.

“We have also got social media expert Emmie Johnson in to help us extend our reach, particularly to the young and to get them involved in volunteering to help local charities.”

You can enter the race via www.rotarydragonboatchallenge.org.