Medical lottery gamble

September 29, 1995

Eight medical research charities risk alienating their potential sugar daddy, the National Lottery Charities Board, by asking for money in its first round, the winners of which will be announced on October 23.

The board, however, has insisted that it will only give grants to the disadvantaged and poor. Some medical charities have applied nevertheless and publicised their applications, irritating others keen to improve a soured relationship with the board.

The board announced this week that its third round of grant-giving, next spring, will target "charities working in the fields of health, disability and care, including welfare, medical and other research and support for carers". This is seen as a victory for the medical research charities, which have conducted a campaign to be included on the hand-out list. The board did not mention medical research on its original list of good causes.

"We have definitely raised the profile of medical research," said Diana Garnham, of the Association of Medical Research Charities. "Now we are looking forward to working closely with the board so that the research funding that is secured will fund excellent research with a possibility of positive outcomes." The board has said it would like the association's advice on suitable research, she said.

Ms Garnham said: "It's not very helpful for the cancer charities to go public. The charities board thought they were being pressurised. Most of the other charities think it is inappropriate."

The cancer charity Tenovus, whose funds have plunged allegedly because of competition with the National Lottery over scratchcard games, has applied for funding for research and for its counselling and support services in an area of high poverty.

The Imperial Cancer Research Fund announced in a press release that it had applied for Pounds 0,000 to test an anti-smoking programme for heavy smokers on the breadline.

The Cancer Research Campaign has applied for Pounds 450 million to investigate why the poverty-stricken in Glasgow are more likely than the well-off to die from breast cancer.

"We had one project in our whole portfolio which we felt fitted the guidelines," the CRC said.

One medical charity has applied for money to top up PhD studentships on the grounds that students are poverty-stricken, while Aberdeen University has appplied for Pounds 104,000 to alleviate student hardship.

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