The National Lottery has extended its commitment to women and girls’ football by presenting the QPR in the Community Trust with a set of commemorative footballs, marking a significant moment that resonated during the England Lionesses’ World Cup campaign.

These unique footballs originally spelled out the word ‘PROUD’ to convey a message of support for the England Lionesses upon their return from the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand last summer. During a recent event organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, QPR in the Community Trust had the opportunity to have one of England’s esteemed players, Lucy Bronze, sign these symbolic footballs. Subsequently, they were distributed among participants in QPR’s girls’ holiday programs.

This initiative falls under the National Lottery’s broader support for women’s football, reflecting its decade-long investment of £50 million ($63.6 million) into women and girls’ football development. A substantial portion of this investment, over £15 million, is dedicated to empowering the FA over the next four years to encourage more women and girls to engage with football.

Charlotte Edwards, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Lead at QPR Community Trust, expressed gratitude for the generous gift from the National Lottery, emphasizing the significance of these footballs in their journey. “It’s been great for the National Lottery to gift these footballs to us which were used in an iconic World Cup homecoming. With the added bonus of Lucy Bronze signing the balls we feel they have come full circle,” she shared. “Young participants across our education programmes will be lucky recipients and no doubt further their interest in the women’s game.”

The gesture aligns with the National Lottery’s ongoing support for various projects across the UK. Prior to the new year, the National Lottery Heritage Fund announced its support for the New Directions College’s 65th anniversary and extended aid to the Dean Heritage Centre in Gloucestershire, marking another step in their commitment to preserving heritage and supporting community initiatives.

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