The Evening Standard’s Dispossessed fund to help London’s poor has passed the £5m mark, the newspaper revealed today.
Prince William described the news as “truly heartening and extraordinary” in a statement for the paper.
The fundraising campaign was launched in response to an award-winning series of articles written by David Cohen beginning in March this year, including revelations over the use of paupers’ mass graves by London local authorities.
Prince William said: “As the patron of Centrepoint, one of this country’s leading homelessness charities for young people, I know just how devastating a lack of hope can be for individuals, and for the communities around them.
“The Dispossessed Fund now exceeds £5 million, which is an amazing achievement. Your money will enormously help the local heroes who work tirelessly to lift people out of the grinding poverty that can blight our great capital. The money will restore hope and dignity to so many people. The work is far from over. There are still four children out of every 10 living below the poverty line here, in one of the richest cities in the world – a fact that is as shocking as it is unacceptable. But, so many congratulations on all your tremendous support so far.”
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is a remarkable milestone in a campaign that is already changing the lives of people for the better.”
Standard editor Geordie Greig said: “It is very moving to see such generosity from our readers help the most vulnerable people in London. The scale of giving has been extraordinary, as Prince William has noted in his salute to the Dispossessed campaign. We are so proud to have raised more than £5m, more money from a newspaper charity appeal than ever before outside of campaigns for natural disasters or war.”
The campaign fund allocates grants to small community-based projects which “Whitehall’s long arm often fails to reach”. These have included a grant of £9,691 to the Aspire Foundation which will enable 20 homeless people to launch their own businesses, the Standard said.
The £5m total has been reached with the help of match funding from central government.