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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Westminster Council given £10,000 donation to tackle homelessness and loneliness

Written by Jasmine Cameron-Chileshe

A £10,000 donation has been given to Westminster City Council as part of a new scheme to combat loneliness, help rough sleepers and provide training for young people.

The donation was given to the Westminster Community Contribution Fund, a scheme allowing high earners within the Band H tax bracket to pay a voluntary donation alongside their council tax.

The fund, which launched in March this year, raised £426,529 within its first fundraising period.

The identity of the person who made the £10,000 donation has not been disclosed, but the gift follows the launch of the second fundraising period in November, which saw the council send more than 15,000 letters to Band H households who did not respond to the council's initial request earlier in the year.

Of the money already raised, £60,000 will go towards employing two ex-rough sleepers as "Westminster buddies" who will assist those who are currently homeless but may be distrustful of mainstream authorities.

A further £130,000 will be used to combat loneliness among all age groups.

Nickie Aiken, the leader of Westminster City Council, said: "When we first floated the idea of a community contribution scheme, cynics said it would flop, and that wealthy householders didn't care what happened in their neighbourhoods.

"The hundreds of thousands of pounds being allocated today shows they do care - and they are quite specific what they want this money to go towards.

"What began life as an experiment based on our gut instinct is turning into a solid way of helping Westminster's wider community."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Westminster City Council.