A £1 million lottery win has made Christmas extra sweet this year for Charlotte and Daniel Peart, but the Whittlesey couple have spread the festive joy by helping to run a big party for young carers.
Charlotte and Daniel (both 28) won the life-changing sum of money in August and have recently returned from a holiday in Lapland with their three children.
A hectic few months has also seen them move house and buy new motors, while they are preparing themselves for a busy Christmas period.
But the couple recently found time to join other National Lottery winners in creating a magical winter wonderland for young carers who ordinarily are juggling normal school life with caring for a family member.
Daniel and Charlotte whipped up a storm running their own mocktail bar for the young party-goers, while the other winners helped out with makeover sessions, a festive photobooth, reindeer rodeo and more fun activities.
A number of the eight to 16 year-old carers, who are supported by the charity Action for Family Carers, were even chauffeur driven to the party by the lottery winners.
Charlotte said: “These young people are massively affected by caring for someone close to them who has a long-term illness, a physical or sensory impairment, learning difficulties, mental illness, or is affected by alcohol/substance misuse. To think these children have such a responsibility at such a young age is really very humbling.
“We all hope that the party we laid on shows our VIP guests how much they are valued, what an amazing job they are doing and also gave them a chance to really have fun. Judging by the shrieks of joy I think they were!”
The couple won their £1 million prize by matching five numbers on EuroMillions HotPicks in the draw on Tuesday, August 28.
Self-employed carpenter Daniel was on a busy building site when the call came through so wasn’t sure he’d heard his wife correctly, and given she had pretended the month before to have won £250,000 he wasn’t sure he should even believe her.
Daniel had always believed he would one day win the lottery, and the couple’s lucky journey started when Charlotte was buying a couple of EuroMillions tickets for the Tuesday draw on national-lottery.co.uk and, seeing there was £1.50 left in their lottery account, she decided to buy a EuroMillions HotPicks line too.
Admin worker Charlotte discovered the win at home the next morning when she discovered an email from the National Lottery.
The couple have enjoyed spending some of their new wealth but are now looking ahead to the future.
They are renting out their old property and hope to invest in more properties.
Charlotte said: “We’ve been quite sensible. I’m still in the mindset of ‘save, save, save!’ You can’t change who you are.
“I don’t think it has sunk in because we’ve not sat down and thought ‘this is real’.
“We’ve not done something that’s really extravagant. We are just still living normal lives.
“I’ve not gone back to work yet. My husband went back for one week and that’s because they were so busy. He is going back fully in January.
“My work are absolutely brilliant. They said ‘come back as soon as you are ready’.
“After Christmas things will calm down a bit. We’re just trying to keep things normal.
“We are going to invest in properties and rent them out.”