On behalf of UK bingo operators, staff and customers Miles Baron, CEO of the Bingo Association, presented Variety ambassador and actor Joe McFadden with a cheque for £1.3m at an event held at the Houses of Parliament.
The evening was attended by MPs, bingo operators, bingo players and charity beneficiaries from up and down the country.
Miles Brown said: I’m incredibly excited to announce over the past four years, bingo clubs have raised over £1.3m for Variety, the Children’s Charity, smashing our target of £1m.
“Variety’s work has a substantial impact on every community it touches, making it the perfect charitable partner for bingo, a social form of gambling rooted in the heart of local communities. It’s a delight to see the money raised by our customers go back into the communities it’s raised in, and I’m delighted to be extending our partnership with Variety by another year until the end of 2019.”
The association recently decided to extend its partnership with the charity for a further year having been impressed by its tireless efforts to help improve the lives of sick, disabled and disadvantaged children.
“We are delighted that the Bingo Association has agreed to work with us for a hugely important extra year, in which Variety will celebrates its 70th anniversary as a charity in the UK,” commented Frances Lang, CEO of Variety. “The generosity of the Association, and the clubs across the country, has been absolutely outstanding. Their support has directly touched the lives of many disadvantaged and disabled children around the country. We are truly grateful for the Bingo Association’s continued support.”
Over the past four years, contributions from the Bingo Association has enabled Variety to provide schools and other organisations with 23 Sunshine Coaches – vehicles adapted to be accessible to children with a diverse range of mobility needs – allowing beneficiaries to plan activities without worrying about transport.
In addition to the charity cheque handover, the event at the Houses of Parliament featured a number of speeches including one by Anna Turley, chair of the APPG on bingo.
“I have been delighted to represent the interests of the bingo industry in parliament as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bingo,” she said. “The parliamentary reception is all about celebrating the role that bingo players and clubs play in our local communities. The funds raised for Variety are just a small example of their great work and one which truly helps a wonderful cause.”
The Bingo Association and its members have not just been raising funds for its official charity partner Variety, the children’s charity since 2015. Bingo clubs across the country have raised at least an equivalent amount for Carers Trust, Chips and Alzheimer’s, in addition to countless smaller local charitable events.