tackling health inequalities in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes

Frequently asked questions

As with all new and exciting ventures we expect people to have questions about HealthStrong Community Interest Company and The Health Lottery and how they reduce health inequalities in Great Britain.

We have compiled a list of the questions that most frequently came up from our initial consumer research, which we hope will address any aspects of The Health Lottery you feel need clarification.

What is The Health Lottery?
The Health Lottery offers a new fixed odds, draw-based game. It is promoted by 51 Community Interest Companies (CICs), each holding society lottery licences issued by the Gambling Commission, spread across England, Wales and Scotland whose prime objective is to raise funds for health related charities and other good causes organisations working in health. Tickets for The Health Lottery can be purchased from over 40,000 Health Lottery retail outlets all over Great Britain or online at www.healthlottery.co.uk.

Monies raised will not go towards NHS funded services but instead will be directed to areas of health inequalities in local communities.

What is a CIC?
A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a limited company with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or social enterprise solely for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage. This is achieved by a "community interest test" and an "asset lock" which ensures that the CIC's assets and profits are dedicated to those purposes. Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the CIC Regulator who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role.

Why are there 51 Health CICs involved in The Health Lottery?
The Health Lottery is made up of 51 individual Community Interest Companies, or CICs. Each CIC represents certain Local Authority areas within England, Scotland and Wales and during the course of each year they will operate a lottery or lotteries for the benefit of their local communities. They cover the country in broadly equal numbers of people in each area, with some adjustments for local characteristics.

But that doesn't mean there are 51 separate lotteries every week. Different CICs take turns in operating their lotteries each week. They then donate money to support health related good causes within their respective local areas.

Working together keeps our costs down so we can allocate bigger sums of Health Lottery funding to local health related good causes and also means that, unlike other lotteries, every single part of Great Britain gets a share of the pot. This will play an important part in achieving our goal of making Britain feel better.

Why do the Health CICs have such unusual names?
Our CICs represent particular Local Authority areas and regions of Great Britain. To have named them with these areas would have been a little difficult, so each has been given a neutral name. To discover which CIC area you live in, click here.

Why must I be aged 16 or over to play The Health Lottery?
We believe in ensuring our lottery is run in a socially responsible way. We work to protect those who are vulnerable, such as people on low incomes, or who may have a gambling problem, or children under 16. There are a number ways in which we discourage excessive or underage lottery playing.

Each Community Interest Company is licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission and has a regulatory obligation to adhere to the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005, Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
We always comply with the relevant codes of practice and never target vulnerable people or those under 16.
We are firm supporters of GambleAware and GamCare - the UK's leading providers of information and support for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling to help protect players, and offer practical advice to promote happy, responsible play.
Whilst we're committed to ensuring our lottery participants play responsibly, we also encourage you to make sure your gaming is appropriate to your circumstances.

Who or what is People's Health Trust?
People's Health Trust is the registered charity responsible for the distribution of funds raised by the Health CICs through their participation in The Health Lottery. It is the body in charge of overseeing the grants process; ensuring bids for funds meet agreed criteria for funding and delivering the funds to successful applicants. It operates independently of The Health Lottery and the Health CICs. However, it is dependent on the Lottery for funds and has to be subject to some controls by the Health CICs, such as in relation to where the funds are spent. The PHT Board of Trustees is a Board of independent experts who decide on the best way of making the funds work effectively for tackling health inequalities in the community whose lottery raised these funds.

How does 20p of my money get to a health related charity?
When you buy a ticket for The Health Lottery, 20 pence of every £1 ticket is donated by the participating Health CIC to People's Health Trust, the partner charity established to distribute these donations by way of grants to health related good causes in the particular Health CIC area promoted by that lottery. To find out which causes have been supported in your area, click here.

What type of health-related causes does The Health Lottery support?
The Health Lottery funds target work that supports groups or communities that experience or are likely to experience poorer than average health or wellbeing and shorter than average life expectancy. These are initiatives that are not supported by NHS funding. Examples of projects and charities which may be supported by The Health Lottery money include holidays for young carers, improving elderly fitness, tackling childhood obesity, healthy eating campaigns, volunteering, preventative measures to combat cancer, coronary heart disease and strokes and many others.

Can I choose which charity my 20 pence goes to?
The grant-making process is determined by our partner charity, People's Health Trust. Local needs and requirements are taken fully into account, and every region in Great Britain will benefit. The entire process is transparent and The Health Lottery players can find out which areas have benefited, and when, through the People's Health Trust website.

How will I know where the 20p charity contribution of my £1 ticket goes?
The Health Lottery is operated under a single brand but each ticket has the name of the Health CIC on whose behalf each lottery is promoted. Players can find out which area this Health CIC relates to here or by obtaining a copy of the Health Lottery Terms & Conditions which lists all the Health CICs and the regions they support, and which organisations and good causes have benefited through the People's Health Trust website.

Can I choose which Health CIC I enter my lottery ticket for?
No. But every week, a number of Health CICs take their turn to promote their lottery in the weekly draw. By buying a ticket, you will be improving the health of people who live in those Health CIC areas; in the same way your Health CIC area will benefit when its turn comes to participate in the draw with players throughout Great Britain buying tickets for your Health CIC draw.

What is the CIC regulator?
The CIC Regulator has a monitoring and enforcement role in ensuring that each Community Interest Company (CIC) adheres to the very strict regulations and guidelines laid down in company law. The Regulator ensures that funds raised by a CIC are used for the purposes for which the CIC was established.

In the case of the 51 Health CICs which operate within The Health Lottery, the Regulator will check that funds raised by each Health CIC are used by charities and other health related bodies only within the area in which the Health CIC is authorised to operate.

How do I find my local Health CIC?
Click here and you will find a map of Great Britain which will help you locate the name of which Health CIC operates in your local area. Then click the name of that Health CIC in the list next to the map, and you will be taken to the corresponding website.

Can I find out when my local Health CIC has a lottery?
All 51 Health CICs, participating in The Health Lottery, take it in turns to promote their Society Lottery in the weekly draw. Log onto The Health Lottery website for details of the Health CICs open in the current week, or call The Health Lottery contact centre on 0844 375 55 55. Calls to The Health Lottery will be charged at 5p per minute from a BT landline. Charges from other service providers will vary.

How can I help support my Health CIC's causes?
If you wish to comment upon the work which your Health CIC undertakes, or perhaps suggest new ideas for improving health inequality issues in your area, please contact us by email at the address shown on the "contact" page of this website here.

What is the Gambling Commission?
The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate gambling in Great Britain in partnership with licensing authorities. It is an independent non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and paid for by the organisations and individuals licensed by them.

They permit gambling and, through effective regulation and public engagement, ensure that crime is kept out of gambling; that gambling is fair and open; and that children and the vulnerable are protected. They license operators and individuals providing gambling services in Great Britain.

Why does the CIC need a licence and for what?
The Gambling Act 2005 requires that all organisations and societies, including CICs which operate a lottery, must be licensed by The Gambling Commission. All 51 Health CICs operating within The Health Lottery are fully licensed in this way.

Money raised through the Health Lottery
The Health Lottery scheme manages 51 Society Lotteries that operate in rotation and each represents a different geographical region of Great Britain.
 
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