The Dispossessed: ‘As a result of this campaign we can’t ever forget about London poor’

13 August 2010

Evening Standard

The children of London property moguls and financiers David and Simon Reuben today tipped the Evening Standard’s Dispossessed Fund over the £1 million mark with a £50,000 donation.

James Reuben, 24-year-old son of David, the aluminium and property magnate, and his 32-year old cousin Lisa, daughter of David’s brother Simon, are rising stars in London’s charity scene.

Their fiercely private fathers own the second largest British fortune, after the Duke of Westminster.

The pair made the donation on behalf of The Reuben foundation. James said: “We hope this donation from the Reuben Foundation will help make a difference to the dispossessed of London that the Standard’s wonderful campaign is aiming to support.”

Lisa added: “London is an amazing city, but all too often we do not know or we forget about the poverty that is to be found in almost every part of it. As a result of this campaign, we can no longer be ignorant or be allowed to forget.”

They join a growing list of Londoners and firms who have donated to the Dispossessed fund to reach £1 million in 18 working days.

Ash Hodgson, who donated his entire £17 savings, said: “I’m impressed that the target has been reached so quickly. It shows that there really is good will out there and that it really is possible to do something about poverty in London, that there’s a real chance of making a difference.”

Lord Saatchi, another donor, said: “Government, media and citizens working together; an awesome force to solve our country’s problems. Bravo!” Artist Tracey Emin also congratulated Londoners on the effort, but said there was still work to be done.

“It’s fantastic that this amount has been raised by Evening Standard readers, but a lot more is needed,” she said. “London should be known world-wide as the city that cares.

“There is no reason why in the 21st century parts of London should resemble the saddest, most poverty-stricken scenes of Victorian London.”

Retailers and bankers have added to the plaudits.

“The Evening Standard has shown great leadership on this issue and galvanised many supporters into action. With a huge focus on London, east and west, Westfield is proud to have played a part in helping the fund reach its target,” said Michael Gutman, the UK and Europe managing director of Westfield.

Rothschild chief executive Nigel Higgins said: “The rapid success of the Standard’s campaign just shows the sense of community that is London. At Rothschild we feel very much part of that community and are delighted to have played a part raising this money.”

Steven Feldman, 59, a consultant and mentor from Muswell Hill, donated to the Dispossessed Fund because he said “to turn a blind eye would be a disgrace”. He said: “This should be the beginning rather than the end of the campaign for Londoners to help the least fortunate of our fellow citizens. Thank you Evening Standard for being a paper for Londoners, not just about London.”