Every week National Lottery players raise ÂŁ30million for good causes and it’s thanks to that funding we are able to support a fantastic array of arts and cultural projects across Northern Ireland.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been amazed by how people, projects and communities have adapted and responded to find ways to help one another under these extraordinary circumstances. Although we are not out of the woods yet and recognise that many organisations will still be feeling the long-term effects of such a challenging time, we are cautiously optimistic for a brighter 2021, and a point in time where the public will be longing to reconnect with the things they have missed, and return to the places they love and value. For many, it may be moment to finally visit the place or try out an activity they’d always wanted to, but had kept putting off.

With this in mind, we would like to invite you, if you can, to take part in this year’s National Lottery Open Week.

  • National Lottery Open Week will run between 5 – 13 June 2021. You can find out more, or register to take part here.
  • Once you’ve registered, you’ll still have time to decide exactly what your offer might be.
  • As an opening date for the arts and cultural sector is still to be confirmed in Northern Ireland, we would encourage you to use National Lottery Open Week as an opportunity to promote an offer for a later date.

The National Lottery Open Week is a direct and impactful way for National Lottery funded projects to come together to say ‘thank you’ to the players with a week of free entry or other special offers. You may know it from previous years as the #ThanksToYou campaign.

We know that not everyone will be in a position to take part this time, and certainly acknowledge the challenges and significant impact that COVID-19 has had for projects, but if you can, we’d be thrilled to have you on board. What your special offer might be is up to you, and what you feel is manageable.

Ideas for getting involved:

  • Offer free entry
  • Host a workshops or a lesson
  • Give a free gift or a piece of merchandise
  • Hold a panel talk or Q&A session
  • Promote discounted tickets
  • Or consider something extra special such a rehearsal or exhibition preview or an experience usually closed to the general public.

Your offer may be for the whole week or just a couple of days and you can offer a promotion to be taken up at a later date.

As well as being a perfect way to say #ThanksToYou to the players for their support, National Lottery Open Week also offers a number of really positive opportunities to participating projects:

  • Evidence from previous years show that taking part is a great way to encourage new and diverse audiences, including in many cases, those who have never visited or engaged with your work or programmes before.
  • The promotion will be supported by a major marketing and PR campaign, including in national print, broadcast and online media, raising the public visibility of participating organisations.
  • It is a great way of reminding people that you are still here and ready for them, and will continue to be, even if they are not able to come along during National Lottery Open Week itself. To remind them they you are, and will continue to be, there for them – and ready to welcome them safely.

If you need some further inspiration or examples of ways to get involved or have any questions the linked guidance will tell you more, or otherwise, please contact our colleagues at the good causes promotion unit, who will be happy to help – email thankstoyou@lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

Inspiration and Examples