East End charity worker’s impassioned speech prompts six-figure donation

A wealthy donor handed over a six-figure sum to an East End charity after being moved by a speech made by one of its heads.

Toynbee Hall manager Marcus Duran’s impassioned talk about its work with the underprivileged at its annual proms fundraiser was so effective that one patron, who wanted to stay anonymous, offered up a record sum.

The windfall for the community centre was “several times” the amount usually raised at the music bash, organisers said.

Around �100,000 has already been donated to the centre, in Commercial Street, Whitechapel and more is to follow.

The speech took place last summer but much of the money is being invested now.


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A new member of staff is able to joint the centre as a result of the cash and funds will also go towards a project which works with marginalised or overlooked students.

The charity’s chief executive Graham Fisher said without Mr Duran’s work the much-needed cash boost “might never have happened”.

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Mr Duran is now hoping to raise a similar amount at this year’s Proms at St Jude’s Festival in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The festival has supported Toynbee Hall for many years and three quarters of the money it raises goes to the community centre.

The festival runs from June 18 to 26.

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