Mayor wants '19th Century generosity' to fund literacy programme
BORIS JOHNSON was at City Hall today to launch Team London, the Mayor's £4M charity programme, and then went on Twitter to answer questions about the scheme.
On a day when tens of thousands of teachers are on strike in London, Johnson highlighted one part of the Team London scheme in particular – its pre-school literacy programme.
"We are encouraging a first wave of 500 volunteers to help 3-5s w[ith] literacy," he said.
The Mayor also revealed that people who volunteer for the various charity schemes covered by Team London won't be out of pocket.
"All Team London volunteers will get travel expenses," he said.
Earlier this year, Johnson set out the ideas behind Team London, which is more or less the London version of the government's Big Society initiative - a way of cutting government spending by returning to Victoria ideas of charity.
"Team London is about what we can achieve when we act together," said Johnson.
"This great capital was built on the generosity and philanthropy of some of the great titans of the 19th century."
Team London is backed by many of the capital's leading charities.
"This is one of the most inspiring volunteering initiatives that I have heard in a very long time and I can't wait to see how it unfolds," said Jamie Ward-Smith, of charity group Red Foundation.
"Well done to the Mayor and his team for providing a vehicle that all of us can throw our support behind - it's just what is needed to help us pull together in these challenging times."