Lottery jackpot winner supporting Fife charity Lucky Ewe

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A SCOTTISH lottery jackpot winner is supporting charities with her time and money, including the recently formed Lucky Ewe.

Libby Elliot, 59, scooped a £2.2 million win back in 2012 and has since used her funds to support charities, including Guide Dogs for the Blind and children’s hospices.

Libby Elliot working with the flock at Lucky Ewe
National Lottery winner Libby Elliot working with the flock at Bonnyton Farm, Fife
©Stuart Nicol Photography, 2021

As a trustee of Lucky Ewe, she also helps out with the running of the site, from weeding and feeding their small flock of sheep, to lambing in the spring.

“I’m privileged enough to be retired and so I’m always looking for quality ways to spend my time. The pandemic only heightened this and living the Fife countryside, I was interested in exploring the area and meeting new people – although I never thought I’d end up being a shepherdess!” said Libby.

“While I don’t have any previous experience in farming, I am a real animal lover and enjoy being outdoors. Working with Lucky Ewe seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to combine these two passions and give back.”

She added that being outdoors and around the animals is a great way “to boost our mental health and to bring a sense of peace and purpose”.

Libby Elliot with intern William Wishart and Education Officer Jen Gallier at Bonnyton Farm - Lucky Ewe
Libby Elliot with intern William Wishart, 17, and Lucky Ewe Education Officer Jen Gallier at Bonnyton Farm, Fife
©Stuart Nicol Photography, 2021

Gaining its charity status in March 2020, Lucky Ewe has gained funding and attracted volunteers, working towards the goal of facilitating farming placements in animal husbandry and food production.

This helps people to develop their skills and experience, providing a stepping stone towards future employment.

“It’s been a really tough year for everyone, from the economic and mental health pressures of lockdown, to a more widespread concern about wellbeing and recovery; so we want to do our bit in helping our community to gain skills and regain confidence,” said Joan Brown, Chair of Lucky Ewe.

“Lucky Ewe offers a path to a new job, volunteering opportunities and beneficial placements for those in need. We welcome people of all abilities and background to take on these placements, aimed to build up experience, helping interns progress towards employment – but with this, we need willing volunteers to help support these placements.”

She added that Libby is “a fantastic addition to the team” who is “always willing to get stuck in and take on a new challenge”.

Describing Libby’s contribution as “invaluable”, praising her ability to network and provide practical advice and guidance.

Libby Elliot with interns William Wishart and school pupil Josh Anderson - Lucky Ewe
Libby Elliot with William Wishart, 17, and Josh Anderson, 14, preparing to feed the sheep on Bonnyton Farm, Fife
©Stuart Nicol Photography, 2021

Currently working with a micro flock of sheep, the charity is based on rented land close to New Gilston, with additional grazing in Cuparmuir and Springfield.

Actively seeking grants, the charity has already received £9,656 from The National Lottery, plus support from the Community Response Recovery and Resilience Fund, Comic Relief and private donations.

Advancing from their current set-up, Lucky Ewe is aiming to expand, purchasing a permanent site at NHS Stratheden.

Moving to this new location will allow them to increase their flock numbers and expand the experiences they can offer to include more food crops, such as eggs, honey, fruit and vegetables.