Big Issue Invest injects £1.5m into charity lottery

Fund manager says the cash will facilitate further growth

One of Britain’s leading social impact firms has announced a £1.5m cash injection to boost the UK’s hospice and charity sectors.

Big Issue Invest (BII), the social arm of the renowned street newspaper The Big Issue, which aims to tackle major social issues such as homelessness, has committed £1.5m to help support Essex-based St Helena Hospice’s (SHH) influential lottery business.

Launched in 2011, the Your Hospice Lottery (YHL), has been a major source of income for a number of charities across the UK, raising over £9m for hospice care to date.

According to SHH, the care group has to raise two-thirds of the £8.9m needed every year to provide its free end of life care and bereavement support services.

The lottery, which generates funds for 13 other hospices and seven charities, currently achieves an annual gross income of just over £4m, making around £1m profit for St Helena Hospice (SHH) and contributing over £1m to other hospices and charities.

BII made the investment from the Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Investment Fund II, a £23.8m fund that follows on the success of BII’s first fund which is now fully committed having invested over £8m into 21 social enterprises.

Since its launch in 2005, BII has invested around £30m in over 300 social impact businesses which tackle tough social problems such as social and financial exclusion, and youth unemployment.

Jonny Page, an investment manager at BII, added: “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.”

“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,” Brian Bolt, director of finance at St Helena, said.

“We are delighted it is keen to support the work we do by helping us become more self-sustainable and more self-sufficient.”