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Just in case it was all of you

As the country recovers from a bad dose of National Lottery fever, one school has taken the prudent step of insuring against its staff syndicate winning the jackpot and disappearing overnight.

A Leeds-based company is offering cover of up to Pounds 300,000 for a Pounds 300 premium to meet the costs of recruiting and training new staff should more than one suddenly enriched employee leave. Premiums and indemnity depend on the number of staff, not the size of the syndicate.

More than 300 companies and a Midlands school, which wishes to remain anonymous, have joined up. Albert Robinson, the divisional manager of Fielding Mann, said he knew of some syndicate members who had quit their jobs, but so far his company had received no claims.

The Department of National Heritage has issued two million leaflets to schools, libraries, sports bodies and voluntary organisations telling them how to share in National Lottery funds.

Virginia Bottomley, the National Heritage Secretary, said more than Pounds 100 million was available every month, more than 4,000 awards had already been made to community organisations, and Pounds 1 billion had been distributed to good causes in the past 10 months.

"The new leaflet is intended to reach out beyond the well-established organisations to the millions of people who contribute to the well-being of our communities. Many of these people will not have any experience in asking for funds, but will have imaginative ideas."

She said the distributing bodies aimed to make the process as simple as possible, and the leaflet was designed to demystify the process further.

Lottery funds: It could be your good cause, Department of National Heritage, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH.

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