This week the London Evening Standard is making a £1 million plea on behalf of the Dispossessed.
We want every Londoner to join our fundraising campaign to fight the inequality that blights our city. Four months ago we exposed the plight of the capital’s poorest — the people who fight a daily battle just to survive.
Prince William described our campaign as “a call to arms”. Now we are taking up his challenge by doing something concrete to tackle this desperate problem.
We are setting up a permanent Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, to help Londoners out of poverty with life-changing support and advice. We have persuaded the coalition Government to more than match what we raise pound for pound.
That means our appeal would raise an astonishing total of well over £2 million to help those most in need.
Already we have seen donations pouring in from generous Londoners. Boris Johnson, mayor of London, was one of the first to offer his support, saying, ‘I am grateful to the Evening Standard for highlighting the poverty and deprivation that shame this city while giving Londoners the chance to help remedy it. I established the Mayor’s Fund to encourage such philanthropy but we’ve a long way to go.’
Ken Livingstone was another to get in touch: ‘It’s right to focus on poverty and the dispossessed in London and it’s good to see London’s daily paper campaigning on such an important issue. I urge Londoners to dig deep for a fund that can make a real difference.’
There has also been an astonishing response to our initiative from ordinary Londoners, people of modest means.
The money we raise will go directly to community and volunteer organisations who work with people who are marginalised or poverty stricken, and for whom a small grant could genuinely transform a life. The grants will be used to empower the dispossessed to help themselves. We want to support organisations that will improve their skills, health and therefore employability to help them play a larger role in society.
Visit www.standard.co.uk/dispossessed today and change lives.
The author is Editor of the Evening Standard