ChangeMakers | Olympic and Paralympic athletes prepare to make a difference in communities post-Paris 2024

The National Lottery to help athletes pursue their passion for good causes - whether it is the environment or inspiring the next generation

Olympic and Paralympic athletes returning from the Paris 2024 Games are set to be supported to get out into their communities and make a difference to the causes they care about.

The ‘ChangeMaker’ initiative is a partnership between The National Lottery’s operator, Allwyn, Team GB, ParalympicsGB and UK Sport to help athletes maximise their impact upon their return from the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games and give back to the communities that have supported them.

Alongside inspiring a nation, Britain’s athletes have voiced their desire to do more, and give back to causes in their local communities. Athletes can choose the social impact project they wish to support, this could be anything from grassroots sport projects, mental health initiatives, environmental programmes - whatever their passion is. They will be helped to make a difference to this cause back home in the UK in the two weeks immediately after the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The initiative will matchmake athletes to causes that reflect their passions and provide them with support to ensure that they can use their voice to make a difference.

The campaign is being made possible by the new operator of The National Lottery, Allwyn, which has pledged to make a difference through its annual £1m Social Value Fund. This will see the new operator create additional value to existing funding and collaborate with partners to amplify the overall impact that The National Lottery has on highstreets and communities. The ‘Change Maker’ initiative is the first programme launched, made possible by around half of the annual fund, with further initiatives to be rolled out with different partners across this summer.  

Olympic Silver medallist Emily Campbell, one of many athletes who has voiced their passion for making a difference through social impact, said:

“I’m really excited to be part of the ChangeMaker initiative because, thanks to support from The National Lottery, we will be able to give back to the communities that we are from, like mine in Nottingham. As athletes we put our heart and soul into representing our nation to make everyone proud, but we’re people too, each with our own passions outside of sport. I want to use my voice to empower more children, and young females specifically, to be strong, healthy and confident by having positive conversations about body image and tackling outdated opinions around female appearance and health.

“This summer’s Olympic & Paralympic Games will give athletes a platform to talk about the topics that mean a lot to them and I want to encourage my fellow Team GB and ParalympicsGB teammates to join me in this. It’s important that we give back to the communities that made us, like how I plan to open my own gym in Nottingham in the future, for all abilities and economic backgrounds, to explore making weightlifting accessible for all.”

David Smith, ParalympicsGB Boccia gold medallist said:

“The ChangeMaker initiative is a great opportunity for us, as athletes, to use our platform to talk about issues we are most passionate about.

“ParalympicsGB and Team GB athletes feel strongly about a wide range of different causes and I personally would like to get more involved in championing social inclusion. I want disabled people to be able to achieve their full potential, in whatever it is they love doing and I’m grateful to The National Lottery and the other partners for giving us this chance to give back to our communities.

Andria Vidler, CEO of National Lottery Operator Allwyn, added:

“We are delighted to announce the ChangeMaker initiative as the first campaign from Allwyn’s new Social Value Fund. Our incredible Olympic and Paralympic athletes will inspire a nation this summer and we look forward to supporting them to come back after the Games to uplift their communities through their passion.

“Working alongside UK Sport, Team GB and ParalympicsGB, we have seen that athletes are motivated by the impact that they can have as part of their community and want to do even more to support the causes they are passionate about. This programme will enable athletes to do just that.”

The National Lottery raises on average £30m every week for National Lottery-funded projects.  This is the power behind the social impact that The National Lottery makes across the nation – from arts, to heritage, to community, to sport and our elite athletes. The £1m Allwyn Social Value Fund is designed to enhance and support those initiatives and is not being funded by money allocated for National Lottery Good Cause funding or National Lottery players.