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Guide Dogs Win Vote That Counts

26th November 2012

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Local charity secures £15,000 in online campaign

The top three charities with their cheques The top three charities with their cheques

Local charity Guide Dogs for the Blind is the winner of this year's Vote that Counts in the North East, scooping a fantastic £15,000 funding.


The charity beat five other charities working in the North East, including runners-up Percey Hedley Foundation and Daft As A Brush. The Vote that Counts is a free online and newspaper campaign, spearheaded by People's Postcode Trust. It challenged participating charities to achieve the highest number of free online votes from supporters in the North East to win a share of £30,000.


Yet, it was Guide Dogs that secured 31% of the 11,000 votes cast to pip the other charities to the post and secure the £15,000 funding.


We're ecstatic,” said Claire Devine, Volunteer Development Co-ordinator for North East and Cumbria. “Our hearts were beating when the announcements were being made. We were so excited – the percentages of votes cast kept changing in the last week, so it really was nail-biting stuff. But to have won is amazing. We are very grateful to all our supporters and players of People's Postcode Lottery.


Guide Dogs provides mobility and freedom to the blind and partially sighted living in the North East and across the country. The charity has been expertly breeding and training guide dogs for more than 80 years. Not only are they a lifeline for guide dog owners, but they also deliver confidence-building rehabilitation services to adults, young people and children.


Right from the start we knew how we would spend the £15,000 funding if we were lucky enough to win”, explained Claire. “With £15,000, we can now train three puppies, which will hopefully become fully-qualified guide dogs. And it's thanks to the voters, our supporters and players of People's Postcode Lottery that we can do this. So, as a thanks to the fantastic support, our new members of the team will be called Postie, Codie and Lottie and we'll hopefully be welcoming them into the family in the Spring.


The Percey Hedley Foundation and Daft As A Brush were both runners up, securing £10,000 and £5,000 each respectively.


We are delighted with how all of the charities, not just the winning three, took part in the competition,” said Clara Govier, Head of Charities, People's Postcode Trust. “It was a really close call and there were only 330 votes between Guide Dogs and the Percey Hedley Foundation, the runner-up charity.


All of the charities really got behind the campaign on their websites, on social media and with their supporters. Through our Twitter incentive, the charities managed to reach over 3 Million tweeters in one day and spread the news about their work. And the partnership with the papers gave them incredible weekly coverage. We can't thank those who voted enough. Without their support, the winning charities would not have received the fantastic total of £30,000.


The Vote that Counts campaign launched on 29th October and achieved over 11,000 votes of support from the local North East public. As well as the three winning charities, Crisis, Gingerbread and Action For Children also took part in the competition.


The Vote that Counts campaign is run by People's Postcode Trust. This grant-giving organisation is funded entirely by players of Postcode Lottery. To date, the Trust has awarded over £4.1 Million to good causes across the country. Players also support

and have raised a total of £21.3 Million to date. The campaign ran in partnership with the Sunday Sun, The Journal and the Herald and Post series.


In the past, People's Postcode Trust has run two similar successful Vote that Counts campaign in Wales and Scotland.