Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Our Challenge: A Fund to Help Our City's Poor

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Our Challenge: A Fund to Help Our City's Poor

Article excerpt

WHEN this newspaper published its groundbreaking investigation into the capital's dispossessed in March, it elicited a huge response. Policymakers declared their desire to tackle the problem. Readers responded in their thousands, many sending donations and gifts for some of those whose plight we exposed -- people such as Vincent Maduabueke, the bright student who was too poor to afford university application fees. Others were moved to tears by the story of Emem and Godwin Iferi, whose baby son's body was dug up from its pauper's grave by a fox.

Our campaign scored successes. Those London boroughs still using paupers' graves pledged to end the practice. Vincent has now been offered a place at university. But more than four months on, we want to take more lasting action. As Prince William wrote in March, it is down to all of us to confront poverty. So today we are launching a major fund dedicated to making a real difference to the lives of the poorest Londoners. Our goal is to raise [pounds sterling]1 million, through the generosity of readers and London philanthropists. In addition, the Government's Grassroots Grants programme will match every [pounds sterling]1 we raise, at least doubling the amount.

The first [pounds sterling]1 million will become a cash fund distributed in full this year, in small grants of up to [pounds sterling]5,000. All remaining money will form an endowment in perpetuity, making grants from next year to fund hundreds of local not-for-profit schemes in five key areas: training and education for young people who have dropped out of mainstream education; getting people into work; helping tackle gangs, gun and knife crime; improving health; and tackling other forms of poverty such as homelessness. We TO DONATE TO THE STANDARD'S DISPOSSESSED FUND GO TO: standard.co.uk/dispossessed want to help the dispossessed transform their own lives. …

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