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Lottery Good Causes

The Good Causes Fund receives 28p from every £1 spent on tickets for National Lottery games. This includes EuroMillions, Lotto, Hotpicks and Thunderball as well as scratchcards and instant games. In total, this adds up to around £30 million each week, meaning since 1994 over £40 billion has been distributed to social and charitable organisations.

There have been over 560,000 individual awards granted across the UK in the fields of health, education, environment, charity, sport, the arts and heritage.

Find out where the money goes for: National Lottery Games | Postcode Lottery | Health Lottery | Irish Lotto

National Lottery

How exactly the money in the Good Causes Fund is invested is determined by 12 organisations, each of which is an expert in their sector. Their decisions are not influenced by the government but they must comply with guidelines when distributing grants and other funding.

For the financial year ending on 31st March 2017, the money was allocated to the following areas:

Applying for Funding

If you would like to apply for a grant, you will need to make a request to one of the distributing organisations. This will typically require you to provide information about the following:

Here is a list of the current 12 distributors who will decide whether a project has successfully been awarded funding.

Arts Council England
21 Bloomsbury Street
Tel: 0161 934 4317

Arts Council of Northern Ireland
MacNeice House
77 Malone Road
Tel: 028 9262 3555

Arts Council of Wales
Bute Place
CF10 5AL
Tel: 029 2044 1300

British Film Institute
21 Stephen Street
Tel: 020 7255 1444

The National Lottery Community Fund
1 Plough Place
Tel: 03454 10 20 30

Creative Scotland
Waverley Gate
2 – 4 Waterloo Place
Tel: 0345 603 6000

The National Lottery Heritage Fund
7 Holbein Place
Tel: 020 7591 6042

Sport England
3 Oakwood Drive
LE11 3QF
Tel: 0345 8508 508

Sport Northern Ireland
House of Sport
2a Upper Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 1222

Sport Wales
Sophia Gardens
CF11 9SW
Tel: 0300 3003111

Sport Scotland
Templeton on the Green
62 Templeton Street
G40 1DA
Tel: 0141 534 6500

UK Sport
21 Bloomsbury Street
Tel: 020 7211 5100

Who Benefits?

The National Lottery’s Good Causes fund has distributed money to hundreds of thousands of charitable projects across the country. Below are some examples of how the money from lottery ticket sales helps to improve the lives of people in the UK.

Over £45 million was awarded to community projects across England for the third quarter of 2018. Among the 2,300 different recipients, the South Birmingham Young Homeless Project in Longbridge was given £485,000 to help people who are without a home or at risk of being left homeless.

St Nicks in York also received £3,000 to help provide ecotherapy to people with mental health problems. Ecotherapy allows patients to build connections with the outdoors and nature to reduce their stress levels and anxiety or boost their self-esteem.

Organisations of all sizes receive lottery grants, with the smallest award on record amounting to £50, which was used to repair a broken trumpet. The largest donation ever granted was £2.2 billion and was used to help fund the London 2012 Olympics.

Postcode Lottery

The Postcode Lottery is operated by parent company Novamedia, which is one of the largest private charity donors in the world and which runs five other charity lotteries. A minimum of 32% of each Postcode Lottery ticket is awarded to good causes, with funding going to charities and projects at home in Great Britain and around the world.

People's Postcode Lottery players have raised over £500 million for good causes. They support a wide range of charities covering fields like children's welfare, animal protection, the environment, help for the elderly, arts and culture, and more.

Girlguiding is a charity which helps over 400,000 girls and young women in the UK and which relies on the support of 100,000 volunteers. Thanks to funding from Novamedia, Girlguiding has been able to offer even more girls the opportunities to learn new skills, have adventures and build friendships. It has helped to raise awareness of the charity and deliver a national programme of events, which in 2018 included an extreme winter camp called Sparkle and Ice and the Big Gig (a girl-only pop concert for Guides).

Ambassadors of charities supported by People's Postcode Lottery players include George Clooney, Sir David Attenborough, Dame Judy Dench, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Brian Blessed, Clare Balding, Carey Mulligan, and Emma Thompson.

Health Lottery

The Health Lottery distributes 25.5% of its revenue to health-related good causes around the country. The lottery raises money for initiatives concerned with helping people lead healthier, longer lives and which aren't already covered by the NHS. Local people choose the causes that benefit from the money alongside Health Lottery's partner charity, the People's Health Trust.

The Health Lottery has raised over £100 million for good causes. One of the many charities to benefit has been the Newham Chinese Association, which received a £50,000 grant to keep running for 2018 and 2019. The funding has helped older Chinese people living in the area to battle isolation and honour Chinese culture, including a series of activities to mark the Chinese New Year.

Community Church Ramsgate in Kent received funding of £29,683 from the People’s Health Trust in the summer of 2018, allowing people to come forward and seek support on a vast range of issues, including personal debt management, housing and benefits advice, as well as family support.

Irish Lotto

Since its inception, the Irish National Lottery has raised more than €5.5 billion for good causes throughout the country, which includes projects in the following sectors:

Any funds raised are transferred to the country’s Exchequer, from where they are used to contribute towards expenditures by various government departments on schemes that fall under the categories listed above.

Contributions to good causes are set at an annual rate of 65% of gross gambling revenues (defined as “sales minus prizes”). Projects that have received Irish Lottery grants include the Baton Twirling Sport Association of Ireland, the Clondalkin Youth Band and the St. Johns Ambulance in Drogheda.

A National Lottery grant of €25,000 has helped the Gaelic Warriors Wheelchair Rugby Club pay for specially designed offensive and defensive chairs for some of its members, as well as essential maintenance for others. The sport allows people to stay active, keeps them fit and helps them to enjoy being part of a team. The Lough Ree Sub Aqua Club in Lanesboro, County Longford has also benefited from €10,000 in funding, allowing them to purchase a set of 13 dry suits that allow people to stay in the water longer and carry out important Search and Recovery missions.