Preston charity to be awarded £300k lottery grant on TV by Stephen Mulhern

A Preston voluntary group which supports ethnic minority groups will score a bumper lottery payout on Saturday night primetime TV.

Saturday, 20th March 2021, 3:45 pm

Zafar Coupland, manager at Sahara, will be shown tonight being told of the group’s £323,851 cash boost by presenter Stephen Mulhern.

The money from the National Lottery Communty Fund will be used to enable the group to support even more women across Preston and the surrounding area with a whole range of needs, from those needing to build confidence and self-esteem, poor housing, physical and mental health problems through to those experiencing domestic abuse.

Sahara in Preston, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, supports almost 400 women every single week, through a series of one-to-one sessions and more than 21 different classes.

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Zafar Coupland with her nephew, Yayau Khan, being told of the grant for Preston-based voluntary group Sahara

Jackie Flynn, trustee of Sahara in Preston, said she feared for the project’s future.

She added: “I was genuinely worried if we would reach our 30th anniversary but now, I am confident that this National Lottery funding boost will enable us to continue to operate not only into our 30th year but well into our half century year too!

“Our manager, Zafar Coupland, has worked tirelessly and is known for being the voice for BAME women in this region.”

The moment the grant is revealed to Zafar will be shown over the next two Saturdays (20 and 27 March) on ITV before the main Lotto draw results, during the ad break of Saturday Night Takeaway.

The National Lottery currently sponsors ITV’s two biggest Saturday night shows: The Voice UK and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. The National Lottery draw results are aired every Saturday night on ITV during the advertisements.

North West at The National Lottery Community Fund, said, “We’re delighted to have awarded this vital funding to Sahara, thanks to National Lottery players.

Zafar, who has been supporting women across the region for 17 years, said, “This money will directly translate into making a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of women across Preston and the town’s neighbouring boundaries. We really are the conduit to making a difference to lives and opening up huge opportunities which otherwise would not be accessible to these communities.

“And to receive national TV recognition, and on prime time Saturday night ITV, is just the icing on the cake, it is totally incredible!”

Preston has received more than 1,000 lottery grants totalling more than £118m.