This Saturday (July 8) will see the launch of the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery (WILL) which will benefit communities from the Butt to Barra.

The Lottery, which will be launched at a family event in Stornoway, will allow islanders the chance to win 20% of all weekly ticket sales and at the same time help to improve lifestyle across the islands.

In addition to the 20% weekly cash prizes, Hebrides Travel have generously donated a Holiday Travel Voucher as a 'bolt-on' prize for the first Draw.

Future bolt-on prizes will be announced at regular intervals.

Tickets cost only £1 with 60p from each ticket going directly to the area in which the ticket was purchased, using a postcode system.

Six long established Community Groups have agreed to manage the funds in their respective areas by liaising with the local residents to ascertain their wishes on how the funding would be best spent.

Stornoway Amenity Trust will manage the Broadbay Area 1, Westside Football & Recreation Association will manage The Westside Area 2, Harris Voluntary Services will manage the Harris Area 4 and Barra and Vatersay Community Limited have signed up to manage their own local funds in Area 6.

The final two Community Groups will also soon be announced.

The project has been set up by the newly formed Western Isles Community Society who facilitate the Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery.

WICS is currently awaiting Charity Registration status to ensure accountability.

Ticket sales will be available at www.westernisleslottery.co.uk which will go LIVE on Saturday July 8th. A dedicated Support Line is also manned during office hours – 0300 30 20 444.

The launch event will take place from 4pm at Perceval Square, Stornoway with performances from Lewis Pipe Band, Highland

Dancers and NWA Cheerleaders. There will be a balloon launch and fireworks display to mark the special occasion and also attractions such as boat rides in the harbour by Seafari; face painting, Photo Booth, candyfloss and much more. Representatives from all the Groups forming this inter-Island partnership will join the celebrations.

Tony Robson, Chair of Western Isles Community Society said: “This Lottery has been set up to help regenerate and upgrade the Western Isles and we hope everyone will come out to celebrate the Launch with us this Saturday. Tickets will also be available to purchase online from Saturday.

"The Lottery will help to raise money for projects and services which aim to improve the aesthetics and lifestyle of the islands in challenging financial times.
“This might be helping to fund floral displays, street art, Christmas and Hogmanay events, play park upgrades, whatever communities want. All money raised for Community benefit in an area will stay in that area. So, for example all monies raised in Broadbay will be spent in Broadbay, all monies raised in Uist are spent in Uist and so on”

Sixty per cent (60%) of the money raised from the Lottery will go to the 6 local community funds. 20% of each ticket will be shared between 3 winners every week and the remaining 20% will be paid to our External Lottery Management Company who will manage the entire Lottery.

This includes the manning of a dedicated telephone Support Helpline 0300 30 20 444 which will help anybody with queries and accept payment of tickets for those who are unable to use the internet.

Supporters will be able to set up a monthly payment in advance with the option to do a one month one-off payment, or a three, six or twelve month repeating subscription by direct debit or payment card.

Winners will be informed via automated email and will have the money transferred automatically to their chosen bank account.

Local media will also be announcing results shortly after 8pm each Saturday evening.

Given the complex nature (geographical spread, secure banking, secure web pages, funding structures etc), the Society have commissioned Gatherwell Ltd to manage the Lottery. Gatherwell have extensive experience, having already launched bespoke Lotteries for a variety of other local communities and large companies. Full details of their role have been made available on the Western Isles Community Society’s Facebook page.

The Facebook page is up and running and daily updates have given in-depth answers to a host of questions. For further updates please 'like' and 'follow' https://www.facebook.com/westernislescommunitysociety/

From 8th July, the main website will be www.westernisleslottery.co.uk

The Support Hotline 0300 30 20 444 will also be available from 8th July to help with any ticket queries.