22nd November 2018

The Bingo Association presents charity cheque for £1.3 million to Variety ambassador Joe McFadden in the Houses of Parliament

Variety ambassador and Strictly Come Dancing Winner, Joe McFadden joined Miles Baron, Chief Executive of The Bingo Association, at a parliamentary reception to receive a charity cheque for the £1.3 million raised by GB bingo operators, their customers and staff.

The event was attended by MPs, bingo operators, bingo players and charity beneficiaries form up and down the country.

As Variety enters its 70th year in operation, The Bingo Association has chosen to extend their original four year partnership for an extra fifth year, having been impressed by the charities tireless efforts to help improve the lives of sick, disabled and disadvantaged children.

Over the past four years, Variety has used funds raised by The Bingo Association to provide schools and other organisations with 23 Sunshine Coaches. These coaches are specially adapted to be accessible to children with a divers range of mobility needs, allowing beneficiaries to plan activities without worrying about the cost, timing and expense of public transport. A number of representatives from organisations who have received a coach were in attendance at the event in recognition of the incredible work they do. The Bingo Association were delighted that funds raised by its members' customers were being reinvested within the very communities form which they were raised.

In addition, The Bingo Association has also supplied Variety with funds for wheelchairs and other accessibility equipment, as well as numerous grants and Variety Great Days Out.

Joe McFadden said:


"I'm delighted to be able to lend my voice to a cause a vital as Variety's - vulnerable children are one of the most at risk groups in our society, and I'm honoured to champion their work.

"The Bingo Association's generous donation means Variety can continue to help disadvantages young people form across the UK reach their full potential."

Joe McFadden has been a familiar face in British soaps for over ten years, having starred in Heartbeat, Casualty and Holby City, before stepping into his dancing shoes and winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2017. Joe is one of Variety's greatest ambassadors - regularly attending the charity's events and helping to raise funds for children across the UK.

In addition to the cheque handover there were speeches by Anna Turley MP for Redcar, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Bingo, Miles Baron CE of The Bingo Association and Frances Lang CEO of Variety. The evening also included a charity game, which saw an additional £500 being donated to Variety.

Miles Baron, CE of The Bingo Association, said:

"I'm incredibly excited to announce that over the past four years, bingo clubs have raised over £1.3 million for Variety, the children's charity, smashing our target of £1 million.

"Variety's work has a substantial impact on every community it touches, making it the perfect charity 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.

Frances Lang, CEO of Variety, said:

"We are delighted that The Bingo Association has agreed to work with us for a hugely important extra year, in which Variety will celebrate its 70th anniversary as a charity in the UK. 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."

Anna Turley, MP for Redcar, adds:

"I have been delighted to represent the interests of the bingo industry in parliament as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Bingo. 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 also raised at least an equivalent amount for Carers Trust, CHIPS and Alzheimer's, in addition to countless smaller local charitable causes.
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