The Directory of Social Change has stepped up its campaign for the Big Lottery Refund with a video appeal to Prime Minister from Debra Allcock Tyler, DSC’s Chief Executive.
The appeal comes with just over 18 days left before the £425 million of lottery funding, taken by the Government to pay for the Olympic Games, is due for refunding to charities and good causes.
In 2007 the last Government used £675 million of Lottery funds to help pay for the London Olympics. According to DSC, £425 million of this should otherwise have been distributed by the Big Lottery Fund for community and charitable projects across the UK. According to its calculations this would have supported at least 10,000 charities, helping around 8 million people.
Allcock Tyler said that repeated letters to the Prime Minister and other Government Ministers on the matter had so far produced "little in the way of a response".
In the video appeal, she said: "We have repeatedly written to you and your Ministers but continue to hear the same line – that there will still be no refund until the mid 2020’s – or shockingly, even later than that."
She added: "We want the money paid back in full to the Big Lottery Fund now so that they can distribute it to charities now – so those people can be helped now. It’s a simple ask, based on a sound principle of right and wrong. It requires no complicated extra bureaucracy or proposals. The system for making it happen is already in place."
She pointed out that the Conservative party in opposition criticised the government's decision to raid the Big Lottery Fund for the Olympics. She quoted Conservative party policy documents from 2008, which argued that "the grassroots of the voluntary sector will suffer most" from the Olympics raids.
She concluded the appeal saying: "I can assure you that it is the grassroots who are suffering. I ask that you remember and stick to the spirit of those words, now that you are making the decisions.’