We have all been shocked and deeply saddened by the fire at Grenfell Tower and our thoughts go out to those directly affected who have lost friends, family and their homes. Although as far as we are aware no City staff member or student has been affected directly by the fire, we all share a deep sorrow and sadness after this terrible event and as a community we are united in our desire to do all that we can to help those so tragically affected.
As the scale of the tragedy started to emerge, I asked Vice-President Professor Andrew Jones to take a lead in developing and coordinating City’s response, in close consultation with our Unions, the Students’ Union and external agencies. Andrew’s initial plan is now in place and I am writing to let you know what you can do to help.
One of the early actions we considered was to act as a drop-off point for donated clothes, shoes and other items and to transport these items to North Kensington. However, as you may be aware, the public response has been overwhelming and support organisations have recently requested a pause in the flow of donated items. However, we will keep this option under review and will let you know of any change to the advice.
The more immediate need is for short-term financial support for victims of this terrible fire. Any contribution you may be able to make, however small, will go to those directly affected if made through the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/grenfell.
There is also an opportunity to volunteer to help and I’m delighted to say that we already have several staff members and students working on site today, over the weekend and early next week. To register your interest in volunteering please visit to https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/newsroom/all-council-statements/volunteers-and-donations for information (and then Grenfellvolunteers@rbkc.gov.uk to complete the registration form).
Finally, we are also assessing if we can assist with short-term accommodation needs and in other possible ways, for example, by offering eye checks and care for those who may have been affected by heat and smoke.
Thank you all for your messages of support and desire to help following the fire. Either Andrew or I will be in touch next week with an update of further opportunities and activities.