08 May 2023

Share this story

Back to news

People’s Postcode Lottery Dream Fund, launched in 2011, offering good causes the opportunity to be awarded up to £100,000 in support. This year things are looking a little different for the Dream Fund. This year one award of a whopping £5 million will be awarded to a single transformational and ground-breaking project.

The Fund gives organisations the chance to deliver the project they have always dreamed of but never had the opportunity to bring to life.

Charitable groups across Britain are asked to think big, be ambitious and collaborate with other not-for-profit partners to deliver their dream project.

With £20 million awarded since 2011 to 35 charities, we look back at just a few of the previous winners and the impact that their dream win has had.

One of the first winners of the Dream Fund in 2011 was the Edible Gardening Project at Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh which won £65,500 and is still going strong. The project’s aim was to promote growing and eating healthy food, in gardens, allotments and containers. Volunteers are asked to contribute their time and practical skills to provide support and mentoring for people who want to grow their own vegetables, salads and fruits but lack basic horticultural skills.

The project, now in its 12th year, continues to provide skills and horticultural knowledge to communities across Edinburgh.

2014 saw Play On Pedals receive £230,000 thanks to the Dream Fund. The project - the first of its kind in Britain - aimed to get every pre-school child in Glasgow learning to ride, and have regular access to, a bike.

A partnership project from Cycling UK, Cycling Scotland, The Glasgow Bike Station and Play Scotland, Play On Pedals was supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. By 2017 the project was celebrating the incredible milestone of 7,148 children having learnt to ride a bike through the city-wide training programme thanks to player funding.

More than 260 community events have also been delivered by Play On Pedals across Glasgow since 2014, showing parents and families how much fun cycling is and providing a safe and sociable environment for children to learn to ride. Over 550 balance and pedal bikes are now in use across the city thanks to the project, enabling the continued delivery of training and activities for preschool children.

COTW Play On Pedals Image

£583,000 was awarded to Building Our Dreams - a Welsh-based project run in conjunction with Valleys Kids and the Down To Earth Project. The funding was used to build a remarkable residential centre with disadvantaged young people at Little Bryn Gwyn on Gower. This was the first time a project in Wales was funded by the Dream Fund and received funding to allow the charity to work with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people in South Wales.

Since winning the Dream Fund, Down To Earth has grown rapidly creating social rent homes using natural materials and Welsh timber as well large-scale hospital infrastructure – delivering health care and education through community-led construction.

Since completion, the Valleys Kids residential centre continues to be an inspiring and revitalising facility for families and young people from some of the most deprived communities in south Wales.

The Child Rescue Alert project received £225,000 in 2014 to develop a ground-breaking initiative that aimed to reconnect missing children with their families. Using state-of the-art technology an alert goes to millions of people alerting them to the news of a missing child. When a child is missing and thought to have been abducted or in immediate risk of harm, there is a very short period of time to find them before they are taken far from the area, hurt or come to serious harm.

With players’ support, Missing People was able to launch Child Rescue Alert in the UK. That backing and support from players has helped so many high-risk missing children become safe. Thanks to players’ support, a long-term legacy was created for the new system – from 2020 all UK police forces now have the systems and processes in place to launch Child Rescue Alert. 

Jo Youle, Chief Executive of Missing People said: “We are proud to have taken a lead with making Child Rescue Alert a reality. None of which would have been possible without the tireless campaigning of families of missing and abducted children, in particular Kate McCann and Coral Jones.

“During our time as operational lead on delivery, our amazing frontline team issued 30 alerts for children found safe and well. These are some of the most high-risk children to go missing. Many people have gone the extra mile to enable this success, including amazing funders such as players of People’s Postcode Lottery, whose support made it possible.

“We really dreamed big and the system now exists and is working.”