THE BLOG

City Giving Day Shows That the City Wants to Help Those Who Need It Most

29/09/2015 17:57 BST | Updated 29/09/2016 10:12 BST

The City of London creates a huge percentage of our country's wealth. London as a whole is responsible for 22% of the UK's GDP.

And yet, despite all of this revenue, our great city still has poverty, deprivation and young people that need help to get on in life.

City Giving Day shows that the City wants to help those that need it most.

There will be a whole range of charitable activities on Wednesday to mark this day, coordinated by the Lord Mayor. Amongst them will be 100 volunteers across 10 City tube stations.

Their aim? To help young Londoners get the best possible start in life, one penny at a time.

How? By signing as many City commuters up to Penny for London as possible, the scheme that allows you to give a penny when you use your contactless card on the TfL network. Every penny raised goes to London charities that work with deserving children and young people across the capital.

Devised by The Mayor's Fund for London and launched by Boris Johnson, Penny for London has the support of Barclays, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Visa, to name but a few - and we think our scheme can make a major difference.

In fact, it already is. The first £30,000 generated by Penny for London was awarded in the summer to ten charities across London working to give 1,000 youngsters a better chance in life. But this is just the start. If just one-in-ten of us gave a penny every time we travelled on the tube, the scheme would raise a staggering £25million per year. And who would miss the handful of change it would cost each of us over a calendar year?

Penny for London is the future, in more ways than one. It combines new groundbreaking technologies with the sole aim to secure our great city's future and give the next generation the start in life they need to succeed.

The technology is a really important element here. No longer do we buy lunch with a £5 note and drop the spare change in a collection tin. We use our contactless cards. And so our charitable revolution, contactless 'tap and go' donations, come to the fore.

All you have to do is register your contactless credit or debit card once at www.pennyforlondon.com, where you can also set a limit on how much you want to donate. Then, whenever you pay by contactless on the tube or bus, or at other Penny for London partners like Caffè Nero and Leon, you know that a tiny amount is going to make a huge difference to the lives of disadvantaged young Londoners.

It's also very easy for retailers to join Penny for London. Some of them have even embraced the Penny for London cause by match-funding donations and offering incentives to reward customers for their support.

London is a fantastic city. It remains the financial capital of the world. On Wednesday, we want to demonstrate that we are also the charity capital of the world.

If you see one of our volunteers, please give them ten seconds of your time and sign up. If you don't, you can sign up quickly and easily by going to www.pennyforlondon.com

If enough of us take this very small step, we can transform the lives of London's children and secure our city's future.