Veterans’ charity makes it to final of National Lottery Awards


A VETERANS’ charity has made it to the final of the National Lottery Awards.

The Erskine Commonwealth Games, held in five care homes across the country last year, helped put the town in the running to receive funding and residents are now urging the public to vote for them.

The project beat off stiff competition from 620 organisations to reach the public voting stage of this year’s Awards – the annual search for the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects.

98-year-old John Bowman competed in the games
98-year-old John Bowman competed in the games


Erskine is competing against six other organisations in the sports category.

Events that took place during the two week Commonwealth Games included an opening day torch relay race, opening, closing and medal ceremonies, food, music and crafts.

Entertainment included boccia bowls, shot putt, weightlifting, netball and that much renowned sport of balloon tennis.

He is encouraging everyone to vote for Erskine
He is encouraging everyone to vote for Erskine


Erskine resident, 98-year-old John Bowman, remembers the games as though they were yesterday and such is his enthusiasm for competing, he encourages all he meets to vote for Erskine.

The Erskine Home has been home for John since December 2013 when complications following an infected sore on his foot meant he could no longer live alone.

Having been active all his life, army veteran John felt the challenges of old age and ill health keenly, having to give up his lifelong love of cycling instead relying on a walking frame to get around.

But the physiotherapy team at the home were keen to give him the chance to get back to the sport he loved.

John now cycles up to four times a week
John now cycles up to four times a week


“The first time I sat on an exercise bike at Erskine and put my feet on the pedals it all came back to me and I was in my element!” he said.

“The Games were great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed taking part especially in the cycling as I have always enjoyed the sport.

Prior to the Games, John increased the amount of time he spent training on the exercise bikes which paid dividends.

Since the Games, John has continued to cycle three or four times a week. He also attends the physio exercise group twice a week.

If John’s story has inspired you to vote for Erskine Celebrates the Commonwealth Games, then you can either vote online at: or telephone 0844 836 9691. (Calls cost no more than 5p from a BT line). Voting closes at midnight on Wednesday 29th July.