A charity set up in memory of Damilola Taylor, the schoolboy who was stabbed to death in south London, could be saved from closure after a telephone fundraising agency stepped in to provide funding.
The Damilola Taylor Trust was set up to work with inner city communities to improve the life chance of young people, following the 10-year-old's murder in Peckham in 2000.
Listen has donated £25,000 to the charity to help pay off its debt and pledged a further £20,000 in match funding to an appeal to save the Trust.
Damilola’s father, Richard, launched an emergency appeal for funding in September saying the charity had fallen into debt.
He told Civil Society News that the charity had been in trouble for more than three years and was launching the appeal as a last option.
The money from Listen will only cover some of the trust’s debt, which now stands at around £53,000. It will continue to appeal for funding to cover its running costs.
The agency has pledged to match any further donations received by the Trust before the end of March 2015, up to £20,000, through its JustGiving page.
Taylor told Civil Society News this morning that the Trust needs to raise £96,000 both to pay off its debt and cover running costs for a year: “We are hopeful, but we are depending on organisations, individuals and communities to help us. Our project have been changing lives and helping young people reach their potential.”
He said in a statement: “The funding donated by Listen will be critical to help keep the organisation running, and above all to continue realising the goals we set out when forming this charity in Damilola’s memory. Receiving such a gift on the anniversary of the loss of my son, Damilola, makes this generosity even more poignant.
“Damilola’s dream was to ‘defend the world’. In continuing this work in his name, we are determined to make that dream a reality on behalf of all young people who yearn for a life free of fear, and full of opportunity.”
Tony Charalambides, managing director of Listen, said: “We are delighted to be able to help the Damilola Taylor Trust to go on undertaking its vital work through this donation.
“The thought that such a crucial initiative for inner-city youths – and such a wonderful memorial for Damilola – might be at risk of closure is a very sad one.”