The Evening Standard has revealed that its Disposessed fund to help London’s poor has now reached £4.5m.
More than £1.7m has been donated by Evening Standard readers and London companies which has has been matched by the Government, which has also made available an extra £1m from the Grassroots project.
According to the Standard some £1m is to be distributed to London charities within weeks. The fund is being handled by the Community Foundation Network which will distribute cash in five areas: education; unemployment; tackling gangs, guns and knife crime; improving health; and other issues such as homelessness, pensioner hardship and the working poor.
The remaining funds will then be used to create a permanent fund to help London’s poor.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This is fantastic news and far exceeds the original target that the Evening Standard set for itself and its readers. For our part, the Government is proud to have matched the donations given by readers, knowing that every penny will go towards tackling extreme poverty and creating the kind of society that we all hope for, where people have the means to help themselves and to help others.
“I hope the Fund for the Dispossessed can now go forward to hit the £5 million mark and become a permanent feature in our capital city.’
The fund was launched on 20 July following a series of Standard articles highlighting the plight of London’s poorest people: London’s Dispossessed.
Evening Standard editor Geordie Greig said: “Raising £4.5m for the Dispossessed Fund for the poorest people of London reflects the staggering generosity of Londoners. This is a significant day for the Evening Standard breaking all records for a newspaper charity appeal unconnected to wars or natural disasters.
“It has been very moving to see schoolchildren, pensioners, tycoons, sports stars and thousands of Standard readers unite to send a positive message about their desire to help those less fortunate to have a chance to better their lives. Everyone on the paper has been moved by the unprecedented kindness of so many Londoners.”