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Prince’s praise after Standard’s appeal reaches £5m

Prince William has praised the ‘extraordinary’ response to the London Evening Standard’s anti-poverty campaign, which has now reached £5m.

The paper launched its Dispossessed Fund in July with the aim of raising £1m to target inequalities in the capital.

That target was hit within four weeks, winning the praise of Prime Minister David Cameron, and the fund continued to grow as money rolled in, reaching £4.5m in September.

Now the appeal has smashed the £5m mark and won the praise of Prince William, who wrote a message for the paper.

He said: “Londoners’ overwhelming response to the Evening Standard’s rallying call for The Dispossessed has been truly heartening and extraordinary.

“Your widespread generosity reflects the ethos of this campaign – that fighting poverty, in every form, is a challenge that we must all rise to meet.

“As the patron of Centrepoint, I know how devastating a lack of hope can be for individuals, and for the communities around them.”

The campaign was launched after a series of articles by reporter David Cohen on poverty in London, which investigated the fate of new-born babies buried in paupers’ graves.

The £5m has been reached after more than £2m was donated by readers and businesses, which was matched by the Government, while it also made an extra £1m available from its Grassroots project.

Charities which tackle poverty have been given small grants totalling £1m so far and the remaining £4m will create a permanent fund to help the capital, with around £200,000 given out each year through the Community Foundation Network.