Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Rallies to Help Its Dispossessed

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

London Rallies to Help Its Dispossessed

Article excerpt

WHEN this paper launched its fund for London's Dispossessed less than five months ago, we hoped to raise [pounds sterling]1million. Today, that figure stands at [pounds sterling]5million. It is an extraordinary sum which will help make life better and more hopeful for thousands of Londoners who live on the margins of this prosperous city.

It is a tribute to the remarkable generosity of our readers that so much has been raised in this short time. Some [pounds sterling]2million came from individual and business donations; that was matched by the Government, which then added more from its Grassroots Fund. A large donation from JP Morgan Cazenove has brought us to our present total. As Prince William, who helped launch the fund with a "call to arms", said: "Londoners' overwhelming response to the Evening Standard's rallying call for The Dispossessed has been truly heartening and extraordinary." He is right.

There are times when London is depicted as a fractured capital, with unbridgeable divisions between rich and poor, but this campaign shows that there really is a sense of a Big Society in the broadest sense in this city. It is especially welcome to see the social solidarity that underpins this endeavour at Christmas.

Already, the fund has begun to change lives for some of the most marginalised groups in society. It has distributed sums to small charities and community organisations that deal directly with disadvantaged individuals and groups -- the poor, the homeless, those in need of education, those with special needs. And even small individual grants have achieved a great deal -- the allocation of just under [pounds sterling]10,000 to the Aspire Foundation will enable 20 homeless people to start their own business. This will translate into transformed lives for at least some of them, and a renewed sense of hope for all. …

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