Big Issue Invest commits £1.5 million to support lottery business

The social arm of The Big Issue has invested £1.5 million in a lottery business that supports the hospice and wider charity sector across the UK.

Big Issue Invest (BII), made the investment into St Helena Hospice in order for the hospice to grow its lottery services to allow them to generate more income to support not only their own hospice services but those of 13 other hospices and 7 charities across the UK.

St Helena Hospice runs a successful in-house lottery business, which was opened up to other hospices to run it on their behalf as ‘Your Hospice Lottery’ (‘YHL’), back in 2011.

YHL now has over 60,000 numbers in play across 14 hospices in their weekly draw and has so far raised over £9m for hospice care. In 2017, St Helena set-up Make a Smile, a lottery product to reach the charity market, beyond just hospices.

Currently, the lottery achieves an annual gross income of just over £4m and makes around £1 million profit for St Helena, additionally contributing over £1 million to other hospices and charities.

Brian Bolt, Director of Finance at St Helena, said:

“With this investment, we have the opportunity to work on attracting new partners and new lottery players, which will raise the profile of St Helena and its charitable partners and provide more jobs as the lottery grows.

“The Big Issue name is well recognised and helps organisations like ours to look after themselves and be here for our communities in the long term. We are delighted it is keen to support the work we do by helping us become more self-sustainable and more self-sufficient.”

Jonny Page, Investment Manager at BII, said:

“We are so pleased to invest £1.5m into St Helena to facilitate further growth of their highly innovative and wide-reaching lottery business. We are excited to continue to work with St Helena as they generate income for not only their own hospice but the wider hospice and charity sector.”

SHH provides a wide range of expert care and support for people with an incurable illness from the point of diagnosis regardless of condition, as well as supporting the family around them. All services are free for users and available for local people.

St Helena supported 3,869 patients and families last year and has to raise £6.2m of the £8.9m needed every year to provide its services.

BII made the investment in September this year from the Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Investment Fund II LP (SEIF II), a £23.8 million investment fund that follows on the success of Big Issue Invest’s first (SEIF I) fund which is now fully committed having invested over £8 million into 21 social enterprises.

The scheme builds on Big Issue Invest’s significant expertise in social impact investment which, since its launch in 2005, has seen the organisation directly invest over £30 million in more than 300 social businesses. Big Issue Invest’s SEIF II invests in social enterprises and charities that are working to tackle tough social problems such as homelessness, social and financial exclusion, and youth unemployment.

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To play St Helena Hospice’s lottery visit or call 0800 285 1390.