4.5 billion euro, hard to get your head around that amount of money isn't it!? That's how much money has been donated to Irish charities by you, the players of The National Lottery over the past 25 years. Not many people realise that 28 cent of every euro played on The National Lottery is donated to Irish charities.

Those donations made by the players are a lifeline for charities all over the country. To name just a few, Holly's Horse Haven, Elphin Day Care Centre, Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, Carer's Association and Pieta House. Some charities we're familiar with, some we're less familiar with, all of which are worthy, helping a cross-section of all of our communities. 

The DDFH&B team went to visit Holly's Horse Haven back in June and what a pleasure it was. Elaine and Joe set up Holly's Horse Haven in 2008. Their first horse was Holly, a racehorse whose career was over, and before they knew it they had become a 24/7 rescue centre. The centre has changed over the years and not only do they help animals in dire need of rescuing, they now help us humans too! Their equine therapy integration programmes support government bodies, health care organisations and parents' groups to help children from all over Ireland that desperately need our help. It's a complete circle of love. These often-abused animals have a special bond with the 'special helpers' that come to therapy in the centre. The children know they're giving the horses the attention they need and in turn it helps the children to socially develop.

Listen below to just one story that Joe & Elaine told us about a miracle that happened in the centre. Joe and Elaine are heroes among men and they are literally saving lives every day with the kind and wonderful work they do.

Elphin Day Care centre is another wonderful charitable organisation helping our Roscommon community. Established in 1994, Elphin Day Care Centre caters for the elderly community in the town and surrounding district, providing meals and an environment in which they can socialise. With help from The National Lottery funding they launched a new minibus service. This service means that members of the elderly community in Elphin and the surrounding area with mobility problems are now able to attend the centre to spend time with their friends; The Elphin Day Care Centre is a lifeline for the elderly community in Roscommon. Play a game of cards, get a hot meal and go on day trips. This helps to improve their wellbeing and overall quality of life. We visited Baby in her home so she could tell us all about her time in the centre over the last 20 years....

The final charity we worked with was Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland, this wonderful charity based in Cork. AADI provide highly trained assistance dogs for children with autism and their families. Their dogs are specially trained to provide safety, independence and companionship to children who would otherwise live in a very isolated world.

Thank you to all the players of The National Lottery for playing and in turn supporting these many charities.

Have a look at some more of the Good Causes:

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