Steve Gillies is the Treasurer of the Darvel & District Community Council. In this interview for the Irvine Valley Advertiser he talks about the recently launched Darvel Lottery.

What is the lottery and why did you start it?

Darvel has a long tradition of local fund raising and voluntary support from the community. The lottery builds upon that by providing sustainable fund raising. The money raised is split into a Prize Fund and a Community Fund. The Community Fund will be used to help small but important local projects and good-causes get started and develop.

How much money is being raised?

The lottery launched in Dec 2018 and the response from the community has been fantastic. In only a few short weeks we have nearly 400 members and produce about £1,500 per month. We are actively seeking new members. Local people and businesses have really helped make the launch a success.

We have already had our first draw in January with 3 lucky winners sharing a prize fund of £760. An equal amount has been added to our community fund and we have already had 3 requests from local good causes and projects.

How will the money be spent? Can you give examples?

That is up to the community. We ask our community to promote a worthy cause for funding, encourage people to ask questions and then vote on their preference. In this way the decision process is completely transparent, and everyone gets a chance to participate.

We currently have requests to fund the provision of a publicly available defibrillator with the potential to save lives; to help develop a weekly group to combat loneliness and isolation; and to repair the popular Alexander Morton memorial.

You say everyone gets a chance to participate but what if you can’t use the internet?

We have published several ways that you can join the lottery if you don’t have internet access and already have members who joined using paper forms available at the Darvel Post Office. We actively seek ways of getting people involved and are determined to make the process as inclusive as is practical.

When are the draws?

The last Tuesday of each month 7:30pm. We make the draw at the regular community council meeting in the Town Hall. We also live-stream video of the draw on our DDCC Facebook Group.

How can I join?

Simple. Either go to darvel400.com and complete a short form or go to the Darvel Post Office and request a Darvel Lottery Form with instructions. We hope as many people join as possible and wish everyone good luck in the draws ahead.