Stroppy charity gets lottery cash

October 26, 1995

The medical research charity that made the loudest fuss about National Lottery charity funding policy is the only one so far to have won a grant from its charities board.

The Cancer Research Campaign has won Pounds 201,800 for research into survival of breast cancer in deprived Glasgow areas. Eight medical research charities had applied for grants from the board, which made its first funding announcements, totalling Pounds 40 million, this week. It forms part of the board's first tranche of funding, totalling Pounds 120 million, for people disadvantaged by low income and poverty.

Medical research charities have protested for months that the board's policy excludes them from winning grants, and there is evidence that their fundraising has suffered because of the lottery.

The medical research charities have more recently decided to be conciliatory towards the charities board. Several privately criticised the CRC for its outspoken approach.

Gordon McVie, scientific director of the CRC, said after news of the grant: "We applaud their decision to support top class research which, we believe, vindicates the very public stand we have taken and mirrors the many calls and letters of support we have received from ordinary folk who feel as we do that research into cancer is worthy of lottery support."

The breast cancer project had been the only one the CRC could find in its portfolio that matched the "poverty" requirements of the board.

Meanwhile the cancer research charity Tenovus, which lost half of its Pounds 3 million income when Tesco superstores dropped its scratch card game in favour of the National Lottery, has been unsuccessful so far in both of its bids. One was a "cheeky" medical research bid and the other a poverty-linked advisory project.

The charities board has not yet announced all the grants to be awarded under the first programme. Two further announcements are expected in November and December. Its third programme will include health, disability and care.

Meanwhile, the Government bowed to charity pressure this week and announced that it will research whether charities are losing income as a result of the lottery. Tenovus welcomed the announcement but said it was concerned that the research will not be finished for about two and a half years.

* The country's first student association to make a bid for cash to the Lottery Charities Board says it is frustrated and bewildered to find its bid so far unsuccessful. Aberdeen University's students' representative council was seeking Pounds 200,000 over three years to support three projects to ease student hardship.

"I'm absolutely gutted," said SRC president Ron Bird. "We supported each project with a business plan and felt it met the criteria absolutely perfectly."

The projects were guaranteed to become self-sufficient within three years, he said. Aberdeen intends to resubmit its bid for lottery cash, as well as seeking funds from the Scottish Office.

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