Big Issue Vendor

Big Issue Invest has committed £1.5 million to support hospices and charities

Our social investment arm has invested into Colchester’s St Helena Hospice to help them grow the lottery service that helps them meet their funding goals and help other hospices and charities to do the same

Big Issue Invest has committed £1.5 million to support a Colchester hospice’s lottery business to help hospices and charities across the UK to meet their funding goals.

The social investment arm of The Big Issue, BII, made the investment into St Helena Hospice (SHH) allow them to generate more income to support not only their own service but those of 13 other hospices and seven charities.

They do this through their successful in-house lottery business, which was opened up to other hospices to run it on their behalf as Your Hospice Lottery (YHL), back in 2011.

YHL now has over 60,000 numbers in play across 14 hospices in their weekly draw and has so far raised over £9m for hospice care. In 2017, St Helena set-up Make a Smile, a lottery product to reach the charity market, beyond just hospices.

St Helena Hospice
St Helena Hospice's lottery service is a lifeline for other charities and hospices as well as themselves

Currently the lottery achieves an annual gross income of just over £4m and makes around £1 million profit for St Helena, additionally contributing over £1 million to other hospices and charities.

Brian Bolt, St Helena’s director of finance, said: “With this investment, we have the opportunity to work on attracting new partners and new lottery players, which will raise the profile of St Helena and its charitable partners and provide more jobs as the lottery grows.

“The Big Issue name is well recognised and helps organisations like ours to look after themselves and be here for our communities in the long term. We are delighted it is keen to support the work we do by helping us become more self-sustainable and more self-sufficient.”


The Big Issue has inspired the launch of 120 street papers globally, including sister titles in Australia, South Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Korea.

Jonny Page, investment manager at BII, added: “We are so pleased to invest £1.5m into St Helena to facilitate further growth of their highly innovative and wide-reaching lottery business. We are excited to continue to work with St Helena as they generate income for not only their own hospice, but the wider hospice and charity sector.”

SHH provide a wide range of expert care and support for people with an incurable illness from the point of diagnosis regardless of condition, as well as supporting the family around them. All services are free for users and available for local people and it is hoped that the investment will allow SHH to reach out to more people across Colchester and Tendring based on need, regardless of diagnosis.

SHH supported 3,869 patients and families last year and has to raise £6.2m of the £8.9m needed every year to provide its services.

BII made the investment in September this year from the Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Investment Fund II LP (SEIF II), a £23.8 million investment fund.