Penny for Your Thoughts?

Chiswick Charity compiles spare change information.

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The Microloan Foundation, based in Chiswick, has compiled a stack of information regarding how, where and why people keep their spare change as part of their Pennies for Life campaign. Interestingly, they discovered that over £500 million is stashed in British homes in loose change.

The Foundation is trying to encourage more people to give any newly found coins to its recently launched Pennies for Life campaign which encourages individuals to donate one penny every time they tweet or log onto Facebook.

They estimate that if everyone was to get involved and the total amount of unwanted change was to make it back to their charity, then they would have enough to fund 21 million businesses in Africa. The Foundation gives on average £25 to women to start their own businesses and lift themselves out of poverty. When they pay them back (and, remarkably, 99% do), they lend the money again to another group of women. An ‘anti-poverty cycle,’ some might say.

The survey discovered that on average, in London:

  • £21.27 is kept in each household as loose change.
  • 66% of households have a special pot for coins.
  • Over 54% of Londoners break into their pot when they want something.
  • Over 50% of these ‘pot-plunderers’ spend the money on either cigarettes or chocolate!
  • Husbands are by far the worst culprits for dipping into the pot.
  • On average, households donate £29.69 per month to charity.

To find out more about either the campaign or the survey, please visit the Pennies for Life website at .


July 26, 2010