Grenfell Tower Support Team Update 2

Message from John Barradell, Head of
Grenfell Response Team

“We are continuing to do everything we can to ensure that victims of the terrible fire receive the support that they need, while not underestimating the complexity of the task and the work that lies ahead.

“Our focus now is on securing longer-term housing in the local area by finding suitable high quality accommodation. We are confident that every family will have received a housing offer within the three week deadline set by the Prime Minister, although we will give people the space they need to make decisions that are right for them and their family.”



British Red Cross helps turn excess Grenfell donations into cash for victims

We are now ensuring that the generous donations for those affected by the fire are helping them in the way they need it most. Grenfell families will continue to receive everything they need from the donations, and now excess clothes will be sorted, labelled and sold at British Red Cross shops across the country. Every penny raised in sales through the “Shop for Grenfell” initiative will go to the London Fire Relief Fund, which was set up to help those who have been left injured, bereaved, or homeless by this tragedy.  We thank all the community organisations and volunteers who are backing this plan and are working with us to ensure that all donations go to where they’re needed most.



PM addresses Grenfell Tower fire in PMQs today

The Grenfell Tower fire was raised in today’s Prime Minister’s Question Time.

In an update to MPs, Theresa May said that 282 good quality temporary properties have been identified for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, 132 families have had their needs assessed, and 65 offers of temporary accommodation have been made.

She also said the Government has provided nearly £1.25 million in discretionary payments and will be giving an extra £1 million to a local group of charities, trusts and foundations “which have been doing such important work”.

The other significant development was the fact the Prime Minister said she expected to name a judge for the public inquiry into the Grenfell fire “soon”. He or she will be a neutral figure who will be charged with looking into a range of issues around the fire and is expected to make a number of recommendations afterwards.



Cricket legends rally together in support of Grenfell victims

A charity cricket match to raise funds for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire was held last night in west London.

Lashings All-Stars brought together a number of legends from the cricketing world, including Pakistan spin bowler Saqlain Mushtaq, former England superstar Monty Panesar, and West Indies hero Gordon Greenidge to take on a House of Commons and Lords team, captained by Nigel Adams MP.

Together they raised almost £5,000 for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and the emergency services.

All of the proceeds from the match, organised in conjunction with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), will be going to the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund to support those affected by the tragedy at Grenfell.

If you wish to donate, you can visit the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund at



Visa and passport support

The UK Visa and Immigration and Her Majesty’s Passport Office teams continue to provide reassurance, support and information to help Grenfell Tower residents and their families get replacement passports and immigration documents such as British Residence Permits, nationality, birth and marriage certificates or visas which might have been destroyed. The team can also help with visa enquiries for those who wish to bring relatives into the UK from overseas.

Specialist advisors are available to talk to residents and those that would like to accompany them to speak on their behalf at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP from 9am to 9pm.

If residents prefer to talk over the phone, they can call our 24 hour advice line on 0300 222 0000 to arrange for a call back by our specialist visa and passport teams.



Battersea Dogs & Cats Home offering temporary homes for pets

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are continuing to take in pet dogs and cats for owners affected by the Grenfell fire, or those that have been evacuated from their homes, by providing a temporary home for the animals until owners are able to take them back.

Several dogs and cats are currently in the charity’s care from the Grenfell community. Battersea’s kennels can be a safe temporary home for such pets, whose owners’ temporary accommodation may now not enable them to take their pets with them.

Any residents with pets who need help from Battersea can call the charity on 020 7627 9217.



Housing update

We are working to make sure that every family affected by the fire in need of longer-term housing receives a housing offer within three weeks from a range of high-quality furnished properties in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea across registered providers and the private rented sector.

We understand the physical and emotional stress placed on families at this time, and we will not force people to accept a home that isn’t right for them. Support workers have been allocated to provide support to these families, from education and health assistance to obtaining documents such as passports and driving licenses, as well as additional support.

For assistance, please contact the Red Cross helpline on 0800 458 9472.

If you already have a support worker, but do not know how to contact them, please call 020 7745 6400 or email



Support pack for key workers

Guidance has been developed to support key workers dealing with affected families, British Red Cross staff answering the telephone helpline, staff and volunteers at the Westway Assistance Centre, Community groups, Local Councillors, and any other groups who might be asked for advice by someone who has been affected.

Information can be found here.



Assistance Centre update

The Assistance Centre at Westway Sports Centre remains the place to go for anyone affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The Centre is currently open between 8am and 11pm and statutory and voluntary services are available including immediate and long term NHS emotional support, financial support, benefits advice and travel support. Residents are also able to pick up newly printed documents, get a new passport photo, collect their post and access donated food and clothes.

You can find all services at the Westway Sports Centre, 1 Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP.



Community engagement

On Tuesday 27 June, the Kensington and Chelsea Social Council (KCSC) held a meeting with members of the local voluntary and community sector, staff of Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council, local residents, residents associations and other local activists groups. Attendees were given updates from some of the operations happening on the ground, which included updates from the Red Cross and Gold Command. The audience was also given updates on the funding available from London Funders and the John Lyons Charity.

The rest of the evening was spent giving the audience the opportunity to ask questions, debate some of the major concerns about operations on the ground and to consider what needs to happen next

For more information, please contact the dedicated email address for the Community Engagement team and please do forward it on to all relevant contacts, including those that may like to sign up to the regular email bulletin:



Transport update

Since Monday 26 June, TFL has been operating a free shuttle bus service between the Community Assistance Centre, at the Westway Sports Centre, and the hotels where large numbers of families have been temporarily housed. Timetables for the bus routes are available at hotels.

Services are now running normally between Wood Lane and Edgware Road as the part-suspension of the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines has now been lifted. Taken as a safety measure following the Grenfell Tower incident, the part-suspension was lifted by Transport for London on Sunday, in consultation with London Fire Bridge and the Office of Rail and Road, after tests concluded trains nearby do not disturb the building or present a risk to the public.

Commuters can expect a full return to services on the Hammersmith, City and Circle lines.

Rail and air travel assistance is available to people affected by the fire who need to travel  for humanitarian purposes. This could, for example, include people who need to visit family in hospital.

The request must come from a recognised organisation rather than individuals. To make a request contact for rail or for air.



Air Quality

Latest readings show the air pollution level near the site of Grenfell Tower continues to be low. Public Health England (PHE) ensured that three new air quality monitors were installed in the immediate area of Grenfell Tower by an independent environment company on Saturday 24 June.

PHE is carrying out air quality tests in the area and is continuing to monitor readings to ensure the best advice is given. PHE’s advice is that the wider risk to people’s physical health as a result of the fire, beyond those directly affected, is low.

More information on air quality from Public Health England can be found on their website.




We are working to restore hot water to surrounding properties after a boiler located under Grenfell Tower was destroyed in the fire.

We expect hot water to be restored by next Wednesday 5 July, which will allow people in surrounding roads to return to their homes.  Those affected have been offered accommodation in hotels.



Government urges everyone to come forward for help

The Home Office has said that it will not take immigration action against undocumented migrants affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.

All victims of the tragedy are being encouraged to access the services they need, including accommodation and healthcare.

The Police and Fire Brigade is also asking for as much information as possible on the people in Grenfell Tower on the evening of 14 June, to help them identify victims.



Further support 

There are a range of support services available in the Assistance Centre. This includes housing needs, emergency funds, health, social care services, experienced volunteers from the Red Cross and other organisations, food and above all, a kind and sympathetic team of people ready to provide advice on anything.

Every household whose home has been destroyed as a result of the fire will receive a guaranteed £5,500 initial emergency payment from the £5m discretionary fund. This will be made up of a £500 cash payment and £5,000 delivered through DWP into bank accounts or similar in a single payment.

British Red Cross is coordinating and providing assistance. Red Cross personnel and volunteers have been on site since the day of the fire.  They are undertaking outreach work to find people who need help and we have also asked them to be at airports to meet grieving relatives as they arrive. They can also help distribute donations that have poured in from the public.

A Red Cross helpline is in action to help give practical or emotional support to anyone who needs it. The number is 0800 458 9472. This is currently available 24 hours a day but we are looking at reviewing these hours due to a limited number of calls through the night. If you have any feedback, please email




Financial assistance update

As of 9am on 27 June, £1,686,012 has been distributed to affected families.

This is made up of a £500 cash payments and £5,000 delivered through DWP into bank accounts or similar in a single payment, along with discretionary payments made by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

So far, 108 households have been given the £5,000 payments so far.



New charitable grants

Every family who lost someone in the Grenfell fire is to receive £20,000, those seriously injured will receive up to £10,000 and there will be a further £10,000 ‘fresh start’ grant to every family who has been made homeless. These charitable funds have been made available, with more to follow, after a joint approach was agreed to consolidate some of the funds raised for the victims of the tragedy.

Three of the major funds for the people affected by the Grenfell fire – the British Red Cross, K&C Foundation and the London Community Foundation – are coming together with the London Emergencies Trust to make this money available immediately.

The DCLG has also announced that it will release £1 million of funding to support organisations working with individuals and the communities most affected by the fire. The money will be distributed by a group of independent charitable funders who are part of the London Funders’ membership network.



Frequently asked questions


Are people in emergency housing being put in tower blocks?
No. People are being temporarily housed in hotel accommodation in or close to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.Are people living in parks?
We are not aware of anybody living in parks and there is no need for people to be living in parks if that is the case we would urge people to come to the Westway Sports Centre so we can help with their housing needs.

Are people been forced out of the borough, or being made intentionally homeless?
This is simply not true. No one is being forced to move out of London, or being threatened with being made homeless. We’re working to find the right accommodation for those affected residents, either in Kensington and Chelsea or neighbouring boroughs.

Are people affected by the fire being asked for ID at the assessment centre?
People affected by the fire were issued letters informing them of the process to access funding and we have asked them to show this letter as some people may have had their IDs destroyed in the fire. This is to ensure those who need support get it. They should not be asked for their ID.

Concerns about cyanide released in the air from the fire?
Public Health England air quality tests over the past week following the Grenfell Tower fire shows no detectable deterioration in air quality. They have advised that smoke from any fire is toxic and can contain a range of chemicals such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, irritant gases such as hydrogen chloride.  The amounts of toxic products will vary with the materials involved in a fire, its temperature and the amount of oxygen. The latest PHE advice on the fire is available here.

What will happen to anyone who isn’t documented but lived in the tower?
Support will be provided to all those residents whose homes have been destroyed in the fire. We will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved and those providing vital information to identify victims. We will also make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need, including accommodation and healthcare.

Will victims have to pay for outstanding utility bills? 
The Government and utility companies have announced a package of support for Grenfell victims across energy, water and telecommunications. This includes suppliers agreeing to write off outstanding utility bills for victims of the fire, and the support comes on top of the £5 million fund to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs. Further details can be found here.

How can people find their post?
Grenfell Tower’s post is being held at Royal Mail’s West London Delivery Centre, Unit 20-23, 7 Premier Park Road, London NW10 7NZ (Open from 8am – 2pm Mon to Sat). There will also be a collection location at Westway Sports Centre Car Park. No ID is required for collection. A free Royal Mail Redirection service is available to those affected for a period of one year. For more information on these services call 01752 387055.

Where should people call with information about missing people?
We are now in a transition from the casualty bureau to our incident room – if anyone needs to report a missing person or report information please use the new incident room number – 0800 032 4539.

Media enquiries: Grenfell Fire Response Team 24 hour media centre on
020 7641 3677/3678/3679 or email For all other contacts, please consult our leaflet.