Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How the Good Work of Ladder for London Is a Long Way from Leveson

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How the Good Work of Ladder for London Is a Long Way from Leveson

Article excerpt

AS THE peacocks and popinjays of Westminster flapped around the release of the Leveson report yesterday, I was six miles east, in a poor district of Limehouse. I was there to meet what politicians like to call "real people". City Gateway, the organisation we're supporting through the Evening Standard's Ladder for London campaign, invited Prince Andrew and me down there to meet the young men and women it is helping into the job market by gaining them apprenticeships. People such as Danny, now 25, who'd been drifting, living on the dole, losing hope. City Gateway took him under its wing and gave him the training, encouragement and support to turn his life around. Now he is working as a delivery driver around town, loving his job and contributing to our city. "You can achieve so much when you're given an opportunity," he says. Others had been pulled out of a cycle of crime, prison and joblessness. The Gateway's chief Eddie Stride, whose enthusiasm makes him talk at a thousand miles an hour, told us of the growing problem in the area of gangs, guns and sexual exploitation. Problems that can be solved by giving young people a step up into an apprenticeship, a job, and hope. It felt great to see how our Ladder campaign had brought so many big companies on board to offer places. And I kept wondering to myself -- Eddie and his team, or the intricacies of Leveson -- what are the public really more interested in? ALL THE FUN OF AWARDS "The shocking rejection/Forgetting your lines/ What keeps us all treading the boards?/ It's all for the love, all for the love, all for the love of awards". So sang James Corden as he opened Sunday's Evening Standard Theatre Awards at The Savoy last Sunday. James was hilarious from beginning to end, by turns cruel and kind. We had a perfect mix of young, upcoming talent like Hattie Morahan and Matthew Tennyson mingling with the veterans like Judi Dench and Ian McKellen. So, when James introduced the Outstanding Newcomer nominees as: "The people who, sitting here with their partners tonight, know that this is probably the last year of this relationship" half the audience laughed, the other cried. Well, not quite cried. In fact, the whole night was upbeat and happy. Even though, as James pointed out at the beginning: "You all look like winners, but sadly in an hour's time, most of you won't be." From the red carpet (which was actually black -- far more chic) to the carriages home, everyone was there to have fun.

A WINTOUR'S TALE It was especially glamorous because, as well as having Burberry on board as our partner, we were co-hosting the evening with the exquisite Anna Wintour, editor of American Vogue. Her father, the legendary Evening Standard editor Charles Wintour, launched the awards all those decades ago. Fun to see the Guardian's Patrick Wintour, Anna's brother, verbally jousting on stage with James, too. …

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