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City gives £90,000 to ‘Alternatives Trust East London’ to help destitute mums

PUBLISHED: 14:59 29 March 2018

'Alternatives Trust East London' lands City windfall cash to help homeless pregnant women

'Alternatives Trust East London' lands City windfall cash to help homeless pregnant women

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A charity in Plaistow helping pregnant women in east London who are homeless or have been in abusive relationships has received £90,000 to expand its services after a surge in demand.

The charity's Forrest House headquarters in Plaistow. Picture source: GoogleThe charity's Forrest House headquarters in Plaistow. Picture source: Google

The cash has been given to Alternatives Trust East London by the City of London’s City Bridge Trust to support the women and their families find a hostel or refuge as well as long-term housing and immigration status.

“We are currently working beyond our capacity,” the charity’s Julia Dexter revealed.

“We have more women coming than we have the ability to support them. So this grant will help us prevent women slipping through the cracks and allow us to give hope to many more.”

The charity has helped a growing number of African and Albanian homeless women in the past 12 months who have suffered sexual exploitation. It also gives them emergency food, baby equipment and clothing to tackle extreme poverty.

One of the women, Sarah Moriah, has since become a trustee of the charity and is now its social enterprise manager and is successfully running her own business.

She said: “I have seen the numbers grow tremendously, having been at a group that started with four mums. This grant will help ease the burden of the staff.”

The City Bridge Trust spoke of the “alternative” charity providing “invaluable support to vulnerable women in east London”.

Its chairman Alison Gowman said: “It receives referrals from the local authority because there is no publicly funded alternative giving this type of support for women.”

The Alternatives Trust East London charity operates from Forrest House in Rowntree Clifford Close, off Liddon Road, Plaistow.

The City Bridge Trust is London’s biggest independent source of grants, reaching £20 million a year aimed at tackling disadvantage and inequality. It has dished out £370m since it began in 1995.

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