Images by People’s Postcode Lottery
A DUKINFIELD mother has had her prayers answered after winning more than £50,000 on the People’s Postcode Lottery.
Nichola Galley will now be able to move from her semi-detached home, which is unsuitable for daughter Ava.
The 43-year-old and husband Paul 47, wanted to build a downstairs bedroom and wet room for the 13-year-old but were refused planning permission by Tameside Council in May 2021.
Ava was born with a genetic condition so rare it does not have a name and as a result is non-verbal, cannot walk without help and she has to be tube fed.
But after she was one of 17 residents on Birch Lane that won at least £55,555 in the lottery’s Millionaire Street prize after their postcode was pulled out, she can now look at a new property.
The supermarket café worker, who has been searching for a new home for four years, said: “Ava’s condition is so rare it doesn’t have a name.
“Most pregnancies [of this condition] either miscarry or are stillborn and doctors didn’t expect her to still be with us at this age. She likes to keep us all on our toes!
“We’ll use this to move into a home that’s more suitable for Ava’s needs. I’ve been on Rightmove every day for the last four years.
“I want to give Ava her own bedroom with a dressing table, just like every 13-year-old girl wants.
“This has given us a bit of hope and a little bit of happiness, it feels like it’s within our reach now. I feel a bit lighter.”
One of the Birch Lane residents – retired library assistant Pam Lowe – doubled their prize as they had two People’s Postcode Lottery tickets.
But Nichola’s prize means so much more as she and creative director husband Paul had to turn part of their downstairs dining room into a bedroom for Ava as she got older.
She added: “Ava is getting older and bigger so we need a downstairs bedroom and a wet room and open plan living so she can move around safely.
“Hopefully it won’t come to it but we might need hoists to lift her and everything that comes with that, too.
“We don’t actually want to move. We did apply for planning permission to have a downstairs wet room bathroom for Ava, but it was denied.
“We’ve had to move Ava into the dining room, so it’s a half dining room, half bedroom.”
Nichola, who gave up her career in design 13 years ago to become Ava’s full-time carer, is also mum to James, who will also get a reward.
She continued: “James has just finished his exams and he’s done so well. I’m so proud of him. I think he deserves some driving lessons when the time comes.
“I’m still in shock, I can’t believe we’ve won that amount of money. It’s going to be so useful that it’s hard not to get emotional.
“A little trip to Spain would be nice – I’ve been practicing my Spanish for a few years. Whether or not we can go as a family is yet to be seen – it might just be a girls’ trip!”
The People’s Postcode Lottery prize created many happy faces, including one on the face of intensive care nurse Sarah, who said the win helps wipe away the strain of the pandemic.
While maternity support worker Emma Norton was visibly shaken when she found out she’d landed a five-figure sum.
Now she says she’ll celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary to water board worker husband Michael in style.
Emma said: “I’m gobsmacked – I don’t even win the tombola at the kids’ school fayre.
“We’re going to the Dominican Republic, so we’ll be able to splash out. I might even get my own speedboat. It’s a dream come true.”
People’s Postcode Lottery Presenters Danyl Johnson and Matt Johnson brought joy to the street. Matt said: “We had a delightful day in Dukinfield, sharing the Millionaire Street love with an incredible 17 winners.
“It’s incredibly special to see neighbours winning together. But local charities in Dukinfield also have something to celebrate, thanks to People’s Postcode Lottery players.
“They have raised more than £1.1 billion for charities and thousands of local good causes.
“Neighbours win and charities win. It’s the ultimate win-win situation!”