Residents fund schemes for rough sleepers and young people

Date: 
Fri, 01/11/2019

Nearly £200,000 contributed by Westminster’s wealthiest residents will go towards schemes helping rough sleepers and young people. 

Initiatives benefiting from grants announced by the City of Westminster Charitable Trust include front-line charities which help rough sleepers off the streets and address the issues which lead to people being homeless. Meanwhile a raft of grants will help young people in Westminster develop digital skills, learn how to avoid getting involved with gangs and instead use their energy on the basketball or badminton court. 

The overall package of support - £197,947 - has come from money raised by Westminster council tax payers through the voluntary community contribution scheme. Launched in March 2018, the scheme invited contribution from Westminster’s band H council tax payers, or those paying the top rate. 

Cllr Nickie Aiken, the leader of Westminster City Council, said: “Residents paying the top rate of Council Tax who supported the community contribution told us they wanted to see that money spent on activities like helping rough sleepers and giving young people a chance in life, and that’s exactly what is happening. 

“The Westminster Charitable Trust has made awards to organisations which are making a real, practical difference in these areas. Cynics claimed a voluntary community contribution would never work, but here we have nearly £200,000 announced in grants which comes directly from the fact wealthy residents care what happens on the streets around them.” 

Charities and organisations benefiting from grants include: 

  • St Mungo’s - a well known charity which helps Westminster City Council send out patrols 365 days a year to help rough sleepers away from the streets
  • Resources for Autism - helping those with autism issues which might lead to homelessness
  • Intuitive Thinking Skills - a recovery programme for former rough sleepers which encourages people to go into volunteering or work
  • Dragon Eggs Digital - a project which  provides young people aged 18-25 with opportunities to work with digital technologies and develop skills for the jobs market
  • London Basketball Association’s BOOST programme - l target socially excluded, disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, particular those with behavioural and learning difficulties and those on the margins of crime and gangs.
  • Marylebone Bangladesh Society - funding workshops for 60 young people aged 11-19 who are already involved with or at risk of getting involved with gang related crime and disorder.

 Now in its second year, the community contribution has so far raised nearly £900,000.  The Trust is set to make further awards to organisations working in youth support and rough sleeping. It will also be inviting applications from charities and groups which tackle isolation and loneliness.

 Grants are awarded by the City of Westminster Charitable Trust, an independent organisation which allocates money raised by the community contribution. To learn more about the grants scheme and how to apply, go to https://www.westminster.gov.uk/westminster-trust

 

Last updated: 1 November 2019