‘Say No to the Health Lottery’


Local hospices are encouraging people to turn their backs on the new Health Lottery recently launched by Richard Desmond who, in 2010, was placed as equal 57th richest man in the 2010 Times Rich List.

While the Health Lottery presents itself as a fundraising tool for those who wish to support good causes, in reality it donates a mere 20.34p in every pound to charity. This is just a fraction above the minimum 20p in the pound required by law. Even the National Lottery gives more to charity with 28p for every £1 and also pays 12p in tax as it is not a ‘society lottery.’ Society lotteries are usually run by local charities such as Hospices.

On average Local Hospice lotteries donate 50p to 60p in the pound to pay for the specialist care they provide – up to three times the legal minimum. Players of Local Charity Lotteries can rest assured that their money is being well spent in their own community whilst players of the new Health Lottery can never be sure exactly which charities they will be supporting with the money they spend on tickets.

Nigel Harding, Chief Executive of our joint Woking & Sam Beare Hospice Lottery, says ‘We’re extremely concerned that the new Health Lottery could divert significant amounts of money away from local Hospice care, which is the last thing we need in this already difficult economic climate. Our weekly Hospice Lottery is an essential source of income to enable us to provide free specialist care for local people at Woking Hospice and Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge. With the NHS providing only a small proportion of our funding, we depend upon our Lottery to keep going. It’s for this reason that we’re urging people who care about their local Hospices to say no to the Health Lottery.’

The ‘Say NO to the Health Lottery’ campaign is being supported by Help the Hospices, the national charity for hospice care. David Praill, Chief Executive of Help the Hospices, says: ‘In these already challenging times, we are very concerned that this new Lottery could have a serious impact on the vital funds generated by the hospice lotteries that take place every week across the UK.’

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