This week, more specifically, this Thursday, (14th June 2018) marks a year since the Grenfell Tower Fire. 72 people lost their lives. Amongst the tragedy, shock and political turmoil, it was the charitable efforts from a multitude of groups which shone through. Here at SAFE we believe in the power of people to make a positive difference to the lives of others. Grenfell serves as a powerful example of the power of community and charity.


Community Spirit
Within hours of the fire, the local community of North Kensington sprang into action to provide basic resources, relief and solace. Churches, Mosques and Community Centres opened their doors to the local community. People of all ethnicities, genders, religions and backgrounds came together in the midst of tragedy. One volunteer coined the phrase “blitz spirit” for the community out-poring following the fire. The initial community effort was in large part based on individual effort. There was no cohesive, holistic or managed response. But nevertheless, the local community in West London pulled through. Images of the initial response of the local community became the iconic images of the tragedy.


National Effort
In the days after the fire, volunteers poured in from around the UK, wanting to help and support the community of North Kensington. Help from outside London was also available. Groups such as, Cornwall Hugs Grenfell, have provided survivors with a vital break in beautiful Cornwall. Over 20% of survivors have been able to make it down to Cornwall.


International Relations
International Efforts have been representative of the diverse community of Grenfell. Two recent Italian architecture graduates, Marco Gottardi and Gloria Trevisan had recently moved into Grenfell Tower. The couples’s deaths resulted in their families founding ‘The Grenfell Gloria & Marco Love Foundation’ in their memory. The trust aims to encourage further education amongst young people and to provide scholarships to the schools and study institutes which Marco and Gloria attended.


Individual Charity
Efforts from high-profile individuals have proved positive in ensuring awareness and charitable giving continues for Grenfell. The charity single, released in the weeks after the disaster, (featuring SAFE favorite Stormzy!), hit number one straight after release, with all proceeds raise going straight to the London Community Foundation. Local Football Club, Queen’s Park Rangers held a #gameforgrenfell, where a host of well known faces got involved in a charity football match. These individual appearances by celebrities, demonstrated the ability to keep a media focus very much on Grenfell. Firefighters who attended the blaze have also been involved in fundraising. Around 18 firefighters ran the 2018 London Marathon, to raise money for psychological support for survivors and firefighters who attended the fire.


Organisational Impact
Longer term, organisations have continued to support survivors and a traumatized local community. Different community organisations have focused on alleviating the mental trauma of Grenfell. Community Living Well, Al-Hasaniya’s Moroccan Women’s Centre, The Olive Branch Charity, Care For Grenfell, Support4Grenfell and Place2Be proved to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to mental health support for survivors. Art Therapy has been prominent in targeting the children of North Kensington to talk & explore their trauma. Organisations such as SPID Theatre Company, AVACA Flourish Program and the Flyover Art Program are just a few organisations providing art therapy. Advocacy work has also been an important element of the response. The Law Society and BME Lawyers 4 Grenfell are providing advocacy work and legal illumination to support survivors in their fight forward for justice.

#greenforgrenfell

The 14th of June marks the 1st anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Fire, a day for remembrance. The 15th June is Green for Grenfell Day. Green for Grenfell is held in celebration of community spirit and unity that prevailed out of tragedy. Wear green on Friday in support of the Grenfell Community.