Boris Johnson's children's charity to focus on Shoreditch

Mayor's Fund will restrict operations to small area of east London

London mayor Boris Johnson's new children's charity will operate in one one square mile of east London in its first two years, according to the charity's chairman.

Sir Trevor Chinn, chair of the Mayor's Fund, told a large audience at the charity's launch event yesterday that the fund would concentrate on funding projects in a square mile around the deprived multicultural area of Shoreditch until 2011 in order to test its "unique" strategy of partnership working, connected delivery and funding only projects that can demonstrate effectiveness.

He denied that the small geographical limit was caused by the failure of City firms to contribute to the fund at the levels anticipated when Johnson announced it during his election campaign last year as a vehicle for rich companies and individuals to "give back to Londoners in need of help".

The fund, which will initially fund three projects based on education, personal safety and raising aspirations, will spend £1.5m this year and £8m in 2010. In 2011, when its area of operation will expand, funding will be £15m, rising to £20m by 2013.

Johnson said the fund had already raised £4m. "We all know there are still fantastic sums of money being made by enterprising people in the City," he said. "You have to go where the money is; if you go to the right place you get the right response. The money will follow results."

But Chinn emphasised that fundraising would not focus solely on City companies. "At some point the fund will make an appeal to all Londoners because it is about Londoners helping Londoners," he said. "We all have responsibility; we can't just let it be."

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