AN innovative charity lottery scheme which has raised more than £9 million for St Helena Hospice has celebrated its milestone 1,000 draw.

Over 19 years Your Hospice Lottery has raised more than £13 million for 13 facilities across the UK.

This would pay for 20,000 visits by a community nurse to patients’ homes, more than 400,000 counselling sessions or 26,000 days of inpatient care per patient.

And £9 million of the cash raised has been for St Helena Hospice, helping it continue providing palliative care to residents across north Essex.

One of just three people to be included in every draw is Colchester resident Edward Mandy, 69.

He said: “I didn’t think back then it would still be going on 19 years later.

“St Helena is a such a brilliant and well thought of charity in Colchester I wanted to support them.”

Mr Mandy, of Worcester Avenue, added: “I didn’t realise anything about being just one of three to be in every draw until I got a letter from the hospice. It is a really great thing to be a part of.”

Lottery players nominate their chosen hospice and pledge £1 each week to take part in the draw, with a weekly top prize of £1,000 and rollover jackpot up to £25,0000 available.

The biggest prize ever given out was this earlier year, when one lucky player bagged £19,000.

Gemma Zweck, lottery business manager, said: “We could not have reached this landmark 1,000th draw without the valued support of our loyal players who have contributed to the lottery over the last 19 years.

“Even in these uncertain times we have been amazed by the generosity of players contributing even more to their chosen hospice by adding another play or simply staying with us through sheer dedication.

“The beauty of the lottery is that it has been the one form of income that our partner hospices could rely on during Covid-19 when shops were closed and fundraising events postponed.

“Thank you to every one of our players, past and present, by pledging £1 per play every week you make every moment count for patients and their families.”

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