Wednesday, 4 February 2015

People's Postcode Lottery

Last week I attended the annual People's Postcode Lottery charity gala in Edinburgh along with Chief Executives of the 50+ charities supported by People's Postcode Lottery. It was a glittering affair celebrating a massive increase in the number of People's Postcode Lottery players in the UK during 2014 and the £68.6 million raised for good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

Last December it was reported that together with its sister lotteries in The Netherlands and Sweden the group is the third largest donor in the world after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust. Postcode Lotteries have given £430.3 million to good causes since being founded in 1989.

Here in the north east last Saturday players of People’s Postcode Lottery in Whitley Bay celebrated a £2 million win shared between them. Children North East is fortunate to be supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, our congratulations and grateful thanks to the lucky winners.

By comparison the UK National Lottery has raised £32 billion for good causes since it was founded in 1994. Charities can apply to the National Lottery for grants for specific work, but the application process is time consuming, highly competitive and there is no guarantee of success. If the application is successful the grant is ‘restricted’ meaning it can only be spent on the purpose for which it was given. Restricted grants are time limited and it is increasingly difficult for charities to secure money to continue to fund useful, successful projects long term once the grant comes to an end.

Unlike the National Lottery, money given to charities by People’s Postcode Lottery is ‘unrestricted income’ meaning that the charity can decide how to spend the money. Unrestricted income from local fundraising, gifts or People’s Postcode Lottery enables charities such as Children North East to continue to provide services to local children and young people in need.

At the gala People's Postcode Lottery surprised everyone by announcing an extra £25,000 for every supported charity, I was stunned and delighted. This is very good news when the need for our work is constantly growing.

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