Friday 24 November 2017

Local communities, businesses and charities are rallying round to help Grenfell Tower victims

A local football club, cafe and religious buildings are all offering shelter, food and support for evacuees.

By Edward Dracott

Charities, individuals and even a football club have all stepped in to help those affected by a huge blaze at Grenfell Tower in west London.

Firefighters were called at 1am to the 24-storey block of flats in north Kensington, where six people are confirmed to have died but the toll is expected to rise.


Many of those affected by the fire had to flee their homes in their night clothes, and nearby St Clement’s Church was collecting clothes, food and water for those affected.

Al Manaar Mosque offered similar shelter and support to “anyone of any faith or no faith” who was affected by the blaze.

Al Manaar, the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre

Al-Manaar Mosque and Centre are open for use as a temporary shelter by anyone affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. Anyone of any faith or no faith is most welcome to walk in to have some rest…

Sikh Gurudwaras also offered their services to evacuees.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said there was a rest centre at the Harrow Centre in Freston Road.

Meanwhile, Tony Fernandes, chairman of Queens Park Rangers football club, said their nearby Loftus Road stadium could also be used as a support centre.

Local youth and children’s charity The Rugby Portobello also stepped in to offer help.

It said they were “with many of the residents” and have asked people to “hold off on dropping anything to RPT until we can put together a list of what is needed”.

Many people, including former England rugby player Will Greenwood, urged the public to send emergency provisions to the trust.

The British Red Cross said its volunteers were also at the scene.

Local businesses offered support, with mobile providers EE, telecommunications company TalkTalk and a local cafe, Goldfinger Factory, offering their stores to give aid to anyone that needed it.

Goldfinger Factory

Our hearts go out to those affected by the #GrenfellTower tragedy. To anyone who needs help: our cafe PanellaLondon is offering a place to rest and shelter, food, water, cups of tea and love. We…

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver said all those affected were welcome in his restaurants for food and water.

He wrote: “To any of the 100′s of FAMILIES effected by this terrible fire at Grenfell Tower Notting hill today, You are all welcome to come hang out in my restaurant and be fed and watered by my Jamies Italian team. We are in the Westfield just around the corner. Food and drink free of charge so just go and speak to my manager Juan and we will sort you out and give you some love.”

As well as the companies and charities, there was also a desire to help among individuals in the local community, including singer Lily Allen and former England international rugby player Ugo Monye.

A number of crowdfunding pages have been set up for those affected by the blaze, with one raising more than £20,000 within hours.

The appeal, on the JustGiving website, was set up by an account in the name of Haley Yearwood, with the note: “I am a teacher at a local school and know that many of our students and their families will be affected by this awful fire. It is a really close-knit community and the trauma will be felt for years to come. I’d like to help in any way possible.”

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Anyone concerned for loved ones in the blaze can contact the Metropolitan Police casualty bureau on 0800 0961 233.

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