The Penny for London scheme has announced the first ten charities and projects that will benefit from the contactless payment donations made by Londoners since the charity's launch in October 2014.
Supported by the Mayor’s Fund for London, a total of £30,000 has been awarded to the 10 chosen recipients: the Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund; Magic FM’s Cash for Kids; the Mayor’s Music Fund; The Honeypot Children's Charity; Urban Development; Camden Arts Centre; Barnet Community Projects; Dallaglio Foundation; Friendship Works and Farms for City Children.
Penny Lancaster, a Penny for London ambassador, visited the Dallaglio Foundation, one of the charities in receipt of a grant, to present the first cheque to the charity’s chief executive, Rachel Roxburgh, and 30 of the 14-16 year olds in Wandsworth who will directly benefit from the money.
The Dallaglio Foundation works in twelve London boroughs, using rugby to help change the lives of young people for the better, leaving them more employable, socially responsible and helping them to make positive decisions about their futures.
Speaking at the presentation, Lancaster said: “It was such fun seeing some of the kids today who are benefitting from Penny for London. We really can help young people like these escape the threat of poverty.”
Lawrence Dallaglio, founder of the Dallaglio Foundation and former England captain, added: “Our programme gives self-belief, opportunities and support to young people from some of the most disadvantaged London boroughs. We’d like to thank Londoners for donating their pennies via Penny for London. It is a fantastic scheme that really is making a difference.”
Urban Development is another of the ten charities benefitting from the first round of grants. Based in Newham, the charity uses music to help 14 – 25 year olds to get a better start in life. They have previously helped and worked with artists such as Labrinth and Wretch 32 at the beginning of their careers.
Now a number-one artist, songwriter and producer Labrinth said: “Urban Development made a massive impact on my development as an artist at the beginning of my career. They help so many young people, many from disadvantaged communities, through supporting and encouraging their interest in music and doing it in a way that is accessible.
“It's so sick that some of the money raised by Penny for London is being given to the scheme in Newham. Big shout out to those Londoners who have signed up to the scheme for their valuable contributions. You are investing in the creative future of the city!”
Speaking for the Mayor’s Fund for London, which devised and operates the Penny for London scheme, chief executive Matthew Patten said: “Thanks to all those Londoners who are giving their pennies, we are delighted that funds are now flowing to projects that are making a real difference to the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“So far, 2,500 people are donating a penny or so when they use their contactless card to travel around London or pay for a coffee or sandwich with one of our partners. Just think how much more we do for disadvantaged kids if we could get 50,000 Londoners to register with Penny for London.”
The Penny for London micro-donation charitable scheme allows Londoners to donate as little as one penny (1p) every time they make a payment using contactless technology on the Transport for London network and in Caffè Nero or Leon cafe outlets. Every penny donated by the public is used to benefit young people from deprived areas of the city.
The handling of the contactless payment donation transactions is managed by Barclaycard, which has funded and developed the micro-donation back-office technology that makes Penny for London possible.
Celebrities such as Pixie Lott and JJ Hamblett have lent their support to the charity and some of London’s biggest employers, such as Visa, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, are match-funding every employee’s donation.
Londoners can register their contactless debit or credit card at www.pennyforlondon.com. One million pounds will be raised if registrations reach 100,000 this year, with that figure set to rise to £25m a year if one-in-ten Londoners sign up.