Sunday 22 July 2018

'Under a third' of funds raised reaches those hit by Grenfell Tower fire

The Grenfell fire tragedy could now see an investigation for corporate manslaughter AFP/Getty
The Grenfell fire tragedy could now see an investigation for corporate manslaughter AFP/Getty

Jemma Crew

Less than a third of the money raised for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire has reached their pockets, new data shows.

Almost half of the £19,018,782 (€20,858,422) gathered by fundraisers has been sent to distributing organisations, the Charity Commission said.

Of this, £5,822,500 has reached survivors, bereaved families and those displaced from their homes more than two months after the devastating blaze, which killed at least 80 people.

The figure is up from £2.8 million (€3.07m) a week ago, showing a huge acceleration in the distribution of funds.

David Holdsworth, registrar of charities in England and Wales, said: "We are pleased that a further £3 million (€3.29m) has reached survivors and those affected by this terrible tragedy in the last week, and that further funds will be distributed in the coming days.

"Some challenges still remain but it is important that the charities continue to work with the community and that the remaining funds are made available to meet their short, medium and longer term needs."

At least 80 people were killed in the fire
At least 80 people were killed in the fire

Next-of-kin of those missing or dead, people who required hospital treatment and every household of Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk are some of those entitled to set payments.

The biggest sums sent to be distributed are from the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund £3,910,000 (€4,28,820), and the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation £2,520,000 (€2,763,750).

Only two smaller donors - Goldsmiths Company and Turn2us - have made the entirety of their raised cash available to distributors.

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It comes as the public inquiry into the disaster revealed that survivors, residents of the tower and families of those who had died can be core participants in the probe.

The inquiry said applications, including from other groups and individuals, must be made in writing by September 8.

A young girl places flowers at the memorial wall on Bramley Road, London, as people attend a vigil to mark four weeks since the Grenfell Tower fire Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
A young girl places flowers at the memorial wall on Bramley Road, London, as people attend a vigil to mark four weeks since the Grenfell Tower fire Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick "is willing" to grant the status to survivors, residents and "the families of those that died or those who were injured and as a result are unable to participate in the inquiry".

Core participants may receive disclosure of evidence which the chairman considers relevant to that individual or group ahead of hearings.

They may also make opening and closing statements at certain hearings and suggest lines of questioning, while their legal representative may apply to ask questions of witnesses.

Read More: Council targets 1,400 landlords in post-Grenfell safety clampdown

The London Community Foundation said, in addition to the £3.9 million (€4.28m) from the Evening Standard appeal, £1.2 million (€1.32m) had been allocated to the London Emergencies Trust for distribution and £100,000 (€109,000) allocated to community groups in the area surrounding the Tower.

Russell Delew, LCF chief executive, said: "Since the first few days following the incident, the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund and the LCF have distributed public donations for the immediate need, to overcome hardship suffered by survivors of this tragedy.

"Together with the community groups we've been working with to give out funds, we have minimised bureaucracy to make the process as easy as possible for those suffering."

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