Sussex hospice lottery proves a winning fundraiser
St Catherine’s Hospice lottery is proving a winning way for people to support their local hospice.
Not only does it raise massively-needed funds for the Crawley-based hospice but also gives people a chance to win a weekly cash prize for themselves.
More than £14 million has been raised since the local charity’s lottery began helping to provide expert care for terminally ill people and their families and friends across Sussex and Surrey.
Every week the lottery contributes more than £17,000 towards St Catherine’s care.
Lottery fundraisers Alfred Oloya and John Turner share more about their work.
“John brought me onboard with LFS (Lottery Funding Services), one of the agencies that works with St Catherine’s lottery, a year ago and I’ve never looked back,” said Alfred.
“These days I don’t get up to earn money I get up to help people. I’m passionate about St Catherine’s and I really believe in the hospice’s work.”
“The feeling of using your skills for good is indescribable,” said John. “Not many people can say they get genuine job satisfaction but I wouldn’t ever want to change my job.”
On an average day, hospice lottery fundraisers knock on between 100 and 150 people’s doors.
“We’re not about making a sale at all costs,” says John. “You have to be humble,” adds Alfred. “You’re invading people’s space by knocking on their door and more people are home because of the pandemic.
“I don’t always get someone to sign up to the lottery, but even if I don’t, I still inform people about the hospice.”
“A lot of people we speak to already know about St Catherine’s, so they don’t resent us asking for their help,” said John. “But we always train our team to remember that whenever they knock on a door or speak to someone at a venue where we’re advertising the hospice lottery, they have no idea what’s going on in that person’s life.
“I’ve experienced different responses from people on different days. If people are ever angry or frustrated with me knocking on their door I remind myself it’s not personal.”
The pair say it’s important to build a rapport with the community. “I always give people reasons why it’s important they consider joining St Catherine’s lottery such as that we’re building a new hospice and that we’ll need more nurses in the future which will mean more care,” said Alfred.
“Sometimes people tell me they’ll donate online instead. I always thank them as any donation helps, but the lottery is guaranteed income for the hospice and has long term benefits for their future, so I let people know that too.”
John added: “I always stress the community aspect. We’re all in it together. None of us know if our family or someone on our street might need the hospice’s help in the future.
“It’s amazing that hospice lottery players pay for one day of hospice care a week.
“When I’m speaking to people about the lottery, I tell them they can be a part of that – that’s pretty special.”
To join St Catherine’s lottery and help provide hospice care for people in your community visit: www.stch.org.uk/lottery or call 01293 447373.