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£67m in NI in Leftover Foreign Currency

£67m in NI in Leftover Foreign Currency

A YouGov poll out today, commissioned by easyJet, suggests that adults in Northern Ireland could have £67 million of leftover foreign currency lying around at home. The average adult in Northern Ireland hoards £49.31 in leftover foreign currency and easyJet is appealing for passengers from Belfast to donate unwanted currency on board in aid of UNICEF. 

The research marks the start of the summer ‘Change for Good’ campaign on 15th July. The campaign, which raises money for UNICEF’s work vaccinating children against deadly diseases, includes an onboard collection where passengers donate their loose foreign change to UNICEF rather than discarding it in a sock drawer or down the back of the sofa at home.

The poll reveals that the average UK adult hoards £46.98 in leftover foreign currency, with those in Northern Ireland averaging £49.31. The cost of providing a life-saving vaccine to a child is a mere 40 pence and so the amount of foreign currency in Northern Ireland could provide over 168 million vaccines to children.

Over the summer collection campaign passengers to and from Belfast can donate on board from 15th July to 30th September 2013.

Paul Simmons, UK Director for easyJet, said: “Our passengers’ generosity enabled easyJet to raise more than £1.2 million over the past year for UNICEF, enough to help protect nearly 1.5 million children against polio, and 2.5 million children and mothers against deadly diseases. We would like to thank them for their support and look forward to seeing what can be achieved by holidaymakers travelling with easyJet this summer.”

David Bull, UNICEF UK Executive Director, said: “Thanks to the kindness of easyJet’s passengers, UNICEF has been able to protect the lives of children by vaccinating them against deadly diseases. But today’s research shows that with the leftover foreign currency lying around people’s homes we would have the capacity to reach many more.

“Rather than letting that loose foreign change go to waste behind the sofa or in a sock drawer, we are urging people heading home from their holidays to make their spare currency go further for children by donating it to UNICEF aboard easyJet’s aircraft.”

The ‘Change for Good’ partnership between easyJet and UNICEF has already raised £1.2 million since it was launched in July 2012, donated by passengers in spare change and unused foreign currency on board flights. This has enabled UNICEF to protect nearly 1.5 million children against polio, and 2.5 million children and mothers against deadly childhood diseases and maternal and newborn tetanus.

The initiative is part of UNICEF’s global ‘Change for Good’ programme, which has raised over £53 million for the world’s most vulnerable children in partnership with leading airlines across the globe.

Key statistics from the YouGov research include:

  • The over 55s are more likely to be the biggest hoarders of foreign currency, with an average of £72.73 per person left at home unspent
  • 18-24 year olds seem to spend most of their foreign currency while abroad with just an average £27.03 per person sitting around at home
  • Men are more likely to stash away foreign cash with an average of £59.69 per male and £35.21 per female in leftover foreign currency
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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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