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Charity Gala 2017

HRH Prince Charles and Sir David Attenborough were among guests at People's Postcode Lottery's Charity Gala 2017

HRH Prince Charles and BBC's Planet Earth presenter Sir David Attenborough last night joined 370 guests at the annual People's Postcode Lottery Charity Gala held at Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.

The event was a celebration of the £66 Million awarded to charities in 2016, thanks to players of the charity lottery - £27 Million more than the total raised in 2015.

As vice-president of Fauna & Flora International, Sir David Attenborough attended the event as a guest speaker and also accepted a cheque on behalf of the charity for £250,000.

In his toast to the Charity Gala, Sir David thanked players and said, "Over its 113-year history, Fauna & Flora International has saved species from extinction and habitats from destruction. Raising their profile as a leading conservation organisation will enable them to further educate and encourage people, businesses, and governments to behave more sustainably.

"I'm thrilled that the award from players of People's Postcode Lottery will help them gain new supporters and join forces with them to stop biodiversity decline."

Three winners of the £2.5 Million Dream Fund - which offers organisations the opportunity to apply for financial support to bring their dream project to life - were also announced.

First up to receive their share of the prize pot was Story Starters, a joint project between national children's literacy charity Beanstalk, the Imagination Library (founded by country music legend Dolly Parton), and The University of Liverpool, which scooped a cheque for £1 Million. The project aims to ensure children start primary school able to read well, regardless of their background, and to give children the chance to write their own life story. The scheme will address the needs of children who are not getting the help and support they need at home to develop their language and reading skills.

Surviving to Thriving - a joint project between the British Red Cross, the Refugee Council, and UpRising - received a cheque for £1 Million. The dream behind Surviving to Thriving is that all asylum-seeking children in the UK are safe and cared for. The project will ensure a fair, well-informed, and child-friendly asylum care process, allowing them to have the ability to engage and aspire to a better future.

Money Mechanics, a project between MyBnk, a financial enterprise charity, The Royal Association for Deaf People, and The Royal London Society for Blind People, received a cheque for £532,000. Money Mechanics will equip deaf, blind, and partially-sighted young people aged 16-25 with the money management, employability, and life skills that they need to be financially confident. It will also help them to take control of their lives, to sustain work, to move into independent living, and to live life without limits.

Other guests at the event included broadcaster Dermot Murnaghan and TV presenter Fiona Philips. Entertainment on the night was provided by Mica Paris and Soul Nation.

Since 2005, players have raised an incredible £168 Million for charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally.

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Representatives from supported charities with their cheques at People's Postcode Lottery's Charity Gala 2017
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