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The History of make a smile lottery

- msadmin
2 min read

Who doesn’t appreciate nostalgia? 

There is nothing better than looking back to see how you have grown. 

In celebration of launching our brand-new platform, we are taking a trip down memory lane and to think back on our successes and where we came from. Now more than ever is the perfect time to reflect on some brilliant memories, so we thought we’d share ours with our lovely supporters. 

Where make a smile lottery began 

Make a smile lottery began its life in July 2017, with our first charity partner Wessex Heartbeat. Our team based at St Helena in Colchester have over 18 years’ experience administering Your Hospice Lottery. In that time a total of £12 million has been raised for hospice care. Make a smile lottery was launched from the same Colchester offices, which supports registered charities. We are delighted to bring our knowledge and expertise of running a lottery to the rest of the charitable sector. 

The Journey 

In April 2018, we were recognised on a national level for our lottery services by being shortlisted for a National Fundraising Award in the category for Most Innovative Fundraising Campaign. We were thrilled to find out in the July of 2018, we won the award! Fast forward to October 2019, we increased the prize fund with a higher top weekly prize of £1,000. 

The Pandemic 

The pandemic has been a challenging time for us all. Everyday life changed completely. With the series of lockdowns forcing many to close their doors, some charities were unable to survive. Make a smile lottery was essential in helping our partners raise vital funds to ensure they would make it through the difficult times. With many shops being closed, a main way we managed to raise funds was through our telesales teams. 

Where are we now 

We now run a weekly lottery draw in support of local causes, and in April 2021 we increased our prize fund for 100 £10 weekly prizes, a top prize of £1000 as well as a rollover of £25,000. It costs just £1 per week to play and lottery members are making a difference in their local community who benefit from the fantastic causes that our partners support. We are extremely proud to say we support fourteen incredible causes and cannot wait to expand even further. 

If you would like to find out more information about make a smile lottery or would like to sign up to play, visit our website, www.makeasmilelottery.org.uk or call our team on 0300 303 4500.