Winter Survival Appeal: Sir Lenny Henry asks Londoners to dig deep as total hits £2.25m

Our Christmas drive with Comic Relief to help Londoners in poverty has passed £2.25 million, thanks to a £50,000 donation from TK Maxx and Homesense, as Sir Lenny Henry called on the public to dig deep to support “the most vulnerable in our communities”.

Deborah Dolce, group marketing and corporate responsibility director of TJX Europe, holding company of TK Maxx and Homesense, said: “As part of our on-going commitment to help vulnerable families and children in our local communities, we are pleased to support the Evening Standard’s Winter Survival Appeal in partnership with Comic Relief this Christmas.

“As ever, this campaign is leading the charge to help address the most important issues facing our society, which are particularly pertinent at this time of year.”

Sir Lenny, comedian and co-founder of Comic Relief, said the incredible bravery of beneficiaries of our appeal, who were making “devastating sacrifices” for their children, made him recall his own parents.

“I didn’t have it easy growing up and remember very well the hard times and sacrifices my parents made for us,” he said.

Ian from Markfield House takes delivery from The Felix Project, a cause funded by the Winter Survival Appeal
Matt Writtle

“The sacrifices that parents make today are devastating. Parents are skipping meals to feed their children and turning to local charities for help with things like nappies.

“It’s heart breaking. Being weighed down with constant worries about how to keep providing must be draining — all we want is to give our children the best start in life.”

He recalled how “Comic Relief began in times of crisis” and that every year they do what they can to help the most vulnerable people in our communities to get through the tough times.

The Doorstep charity in West Hampstead, north west London
Matt Writtle

He added: “Even during the most difficult times, we’ve been blessed with the public’s unwavering support to answer the call to help.

“So, please give what you can so we can help more people have somewhere to turn to. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

How you can help

£10 could provide a nourishing meal for a Londoner every day for a month

£20 could provide a duvet and pillow to a young person helping them sleep at night

£50 could contribute to a new school uniform for a child fleeing with a parent from an abusive relationship

£100 could provide 400 meals for families at a local community centre

£300 could pay for all that’s needed by a family expecting a baby, including new cot, mattress and pram

£1,750 could get a truck packed with enough food for 7,000 meals

Other major donors to our Christmas Campaign include Julia and Hans Rausing with £500,000, Sainsbury’s and Comic Relief, who have also each donated £500,000, Burberry with £200,000, the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund with £250,000, and a £250,000 expected pledge from gaming event organisers, Jingle Jam.

How you can help

To make a donation, visit