Pendleside Hospice warning over new Health Lottery

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PENDLESIDE Hospice is encouraging people in Burnley and Pendle to turn their backs on the new Health Lottery, warning it could deprive local patients with life-limiting illnesses of the vital care services they depend upon.

The local hospice is reliant on the £320,000 generated each year by its own fund-raising lottery, but fears this income could be seriously affected if people choose to play the Health Lottery instead.

John Calvert, Lottery Manager for Pendleside Hospice, said: “Our weekly hospice lottery is an essential source of income for the money we need each year to provide our free specialist care services for local people. One in every 10 of our patients is cared for thanks to money raised by our lottery.

“We are extremely concerned, therefore, the new Health Lottery could divert significant amounts of money away from local hospice care, which is the last thing we need in this difficult economic climate.

“Playing the Health Lottery might sound like a good idea for those who wish to support good causes, but the fact is it will only donate 20p to charity for every £1 spent on tickets – the minimum amount required by law. And because it’s a national initiative, players can never be sure who they will be supporting with the money they give to the Health Lottery.

“For every £1 received by Pendleside Hospice Lottery, however, between 60 and 70p goes directly towards hospice care, 25% on prizes and a small percentage on administration costs, so players can rest assured their money is being well spent in their community and benefiting local people.

“With the NHS providing only a small proportion of our funding, we depend on our lottery and other fund-raising activities to keep going. It’s for this reason we’re urging people who care about their hospice to say ‘No’ to the Health Lottery.”

Pendleside’s lottery costs £1 ar week to play, and has raised more than £3m. for hospice care in Burnley and Pendle since it was established. It gives £1,500 in prizes every week, including a £1,000 jackpot for one lucky winner. Information on joining Pendleside’s Lottery is available by calling 440121, by emailing john.calvert@pendleside.org.uk or on the website www.pendleside.org.uk