The money from the British National Lottery and the Euromillions prize draw has been shared with some pretty good causes over the 20 or so years they have been running in their present guise.
One of the biggest recipients of this money is the field of health. In March this year the Big Lottery fund announced a further donation of £40 million to a health-related project. This means that over the last five years no less than £1 billion has passed to health and well-being projects from the coffers of the UK lottery draw.
The latest funding is in response to research undertaken by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), published in the Lancet, which shows Britain lagging behind other European countries with regards to sickness, health and life expectancy.
Overall the study did find that health has improved since 1990, but other countries have performed significantly better. Mortality rates have actually worsened specifically for men aged between 30-34 years old and for all men and women between 20 – 54 years old. Over all groups, the cases of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer, cirrhosis and drug use disorders (among others) have increased. Tobacco, substance abuse and a high body-mass index were noted problems. It was felt diet and inactivity were also major contributors to the number of people disabled by illness.
The money from the UK lottery draw supports initiatives that combat these problems. The ‘Well-being’ fund looks to improve physical activity, improve our diet and tackle mental health issues.
The National Lottery Good Causes body also undertook their own study through YouGov Plc. They found that 45% of people in the United Kingdom felt they did not have the time to worry about their health. 38% also felt money prevented them from improving their lives.
The Chair of the Big Lottery fund in England, Nat Stone, said: “Our £40 million comes at a crucial time as recent research highlights cost is a barrier for many people when it comes to their health and well-being. It will build on a range of free initiatives that we have funded in the last five years which target people in deprived communities and have been proven to work well. It will directly help hundreds of thousands to lead a healthier lifestyle and become more active.”
It is good to know that money from the British National Lottery and Euromillions prize draw is being put to such a healthy use.