Editors Note: Unfortunately the Irvine Valley Advertiser printed the wrong article in the Summer 2019 edition. Not sure how this happened but to correct the mistake we are publishing the correct article below.

Author: Steve Gillies

Steve Gillies is the Treasurer of the Darvel & District Community Council (DDCC). In this interview for the Irvine Valley Advertiser he talks about how the Darvel Lottery has developed in recent months.

Steve, where are we now with the lottery?

More than 420 members producing over £2,000 per month split equally between the Prize Fund and the Community Fund. Over £4,000 has been won by our members and we are releasing over £8,000 in funds for local causes that help to develop our community. Membership continues to grow. Whilst we were delighted to reach our original target of 400 members in such a short time, we are still open for businesses. The more that participate the more money we can raise.

In the first 6 months what has surprised you the most?

We definitely under-estimated the rate of take-up. I’ve said it before but the response from the community has been wonderful and continues. At first, we purchased a tombola capable of mixing 200 balls, but we outgrew that in the first month. Now we have a big plastic container that does the job just as well. Also, the response from the local business and shop owners who sponsor our monthly draws has exceeded expectations. I wasn’t sure how they would respond but we have sponsors now scheduled through the summer months and their generosity pays for the administration costs meaning we can put more into the community.

What’s the best bit of the lottery for you?

Of course, the award of money to local causes. Last month we have provided funds to the One O’clock Gang, the Darvel Hub and we are purchasing a Defibrillator for public use. I’m looking forward to the next release of funds which we anticipate will help local causes even more.

I have enjoyed the early success, but the best bit is meeting the winners. I know that we don’t provide life-changing winnings but giving someone £1,000 is a pleasure and the people we meet are always interested in what the community is doing and eager to help us find new members.

I also enjoy the live video the draw each month on the DDCC Facebook Group. It’s fun, it’s short and we get over 500 views. I’m always a bit nervous something goes wrong, but we don’t take it too seriously.

Can you tell us about the next fund release?

We plan to release at least £6,000 in late May or June. We will go through the same process as before where anyone can nominate a project to receive funds. There will be a Q&A period and then we will vote. I have already heard of several projects that will be bidding for funds.

Do I have to live in Darvel to be a member?

No, we have members from all over Scotland and further afield including England, the United Arab Emirates and Australia. All people with a connection to Darvel and our community. To join go to https://darvel400.com or pick up a form at the Darvel Post Office.

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