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Brits sitting on a £2.3 billion fortune in leftover foreign currency


• Findings show men are more likely to be top hoarders of foreign cash

A YouGov poll, commissioned by easyJet, today highlights that UK adults could have an extraordinary £2.3 billion[1]of leftover foreign currency lying around at home. Unlike other unwanted holiday leftovers – that pesky sunburn, a broken heart, or fridge magnets from the local markets – this forgotten currency can save children’s lives.

The research, released by easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, and its onboard charity partner UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation, marks the start of the summer Change for Good campaign today Monday 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 Briton hoards £46.98 in leftover foreign currency. Men are more likely to be the biggest stashers of foreign cash with an average of £59.69 per male, compared to £35.21 per female. The cost of providing a life-saving vaccine to a child is a mere 40 pence.

Key stats from YouGov research:

- 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 whilst abroad with just an average £27.03 per person sitting around at home

The ’Change for Good’ partnership between easyJet and UNICEF has already raised an astonishing £1.2 million since it 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.

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.”

UNICEF UK Executive Director, David Bull 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.”

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

The partnership runs across easyJet’s pan-European network of over 630 routes across more than 30 countries during the summer and winter months.

In addition to the £1.2 million raised since the launch of the partnership in July 2012, easyJet has also raised over £215,000 through passenger donations in support of an emergency appeal for UNICEF’s work helping the children of Syria who have been caught up in the current crisis.

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.

For more information about easyJet please contact the easyJet Press Office on 01582 525252 or

[1] Exact figure is £2,307,759,734 which is based on the YouGov poll of 2,066 respondents and the ONS statistics on the number of UK 18+ population being 49, 122, 174. UNICEF UK undertook this calculation.

About easyJet: easyJet operates Europe’s No. 1 air transport network with a leading presence on Europe’s top 100 routes and at Europe’s 50 largest airports. easyJet flies on more than 600 routes between over 130 airports in over 30 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour’s drive of an easyJet airport, more than any other airline.

About UNICEF: UNICEF is the world’s leading organization working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, businesses, foundations, and governments, and is not funded by the UN budget.

About ’Change for Good’: ’Change for Good’ is UNICEF’s global initiative run in partnership with leading airlines all over the world. The airline partners include: American Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific as well as easyJet in the UK. In total, ’Change for Good’ globally has raised over £53 million for UNICEF’s work with children.

About YouGov: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,066 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th and 10th June 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).


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