Grenfell Tower response team update 6
Finding housing solutions that work for everyone directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire remains our absolute priority and we are working hard to achieve this.
Offers of temporary accommodation are being made on a daily basis, but we know that families will have concerns around this process and the idea of accepting a temporary home.
For some people, it’s still too soon to make such a major decision. For others, there are all sorts of considerations to take into account, such as the needs of elderly relatives, proximity to schools, and dealing with historical overcrowding. Choosing a temporary home for families that have undergone unimaginable loss and trauma is a big decision, and we are at pains to ensure they have the time to select a home that is right for them at a time that is right for them.
Government has given commitments to help reassure families that:
* their needs are paramount, all other considerations are secondary to these
* their rent will not increase and the same terms and conditions of their previous home at Grenfell Tower or Grenfell Walk will be maintained
* they will have lifetime security of tenure
* they will not be forced to stay in temporary accommodation on a long-term basis
* accepting an offer of temporary accommodation does not mean that they lose priority for a permanent home
* no one has to accept a particular property and not accepting a property does not mean that they will be made intentionally homeless
* temporary homes will be rent and utility bill free for 12 months
* for some cases, if they like their temporary home there is the potential for it to become their permanent home (this will be discussed when the home is offered to them)
More information is available on the housing line on 020 7361 3008
Minute’s silence to mark a month since the fire
Everyone who has been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire is invited to the Westway Assistance Centre on Friday to observe a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the fire.
This gathering will mark a month since the tragedy took place. Lunch will be provided and volunteers will be on hand to provide emotional support available for those who need it.
Volunteers sign book of condolence at the Westway Assistance Centre
A new book of condolence has been placed at the Westway Assistance Centre, to give volunteers and visitors a chance to record their respects to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Over 100 people have already signed the book which is located by the entrance of the sports hall at the centre.
Roisin, a volunteer at the Westway Assistance Centre, said: “It means a lot to the local community and volunteers to have a book of condolences at the Assistance Centre so we can pay our respects and come together to show our support. It’s nice to be able to help out in any way that we can as volunteers at a time when people are going through such a difficult time.”
A quiet space has been created around the book to give people a chance to reflect in a peaceful environment.
If you wish to record your respects in the book, the Westway Assistance Centre is open every day between 10am and 8pm.
Love Grenfell logo on hoardings
The hoardings near Kensington Leisure Centre have been decorated with the ‘Love Grenfell’ logo.
This design is based on London Underground’s famous round logo, with the text in the middle replaced with ‘Grenfell’. This new symbol merges the familiar sign with the AHeart4London movement.
The logo was originally developed by designer Charlie Crockett and stylist Kyle Devolle as part of the Love4Grenfell Campaign.
The decision to decorate the hoardings with the logo took place in consultation with local residents. Panels on the hoarding alternate between those with the logo, and blank panels that have been reserved to allow local community groups to add their own artwork over the coming days.
More details on this will follow in the near future.
Consultation deadline for Grenfell Inquiry extended
Following the announcement of Sir Martin Moore-Bick as Chair of the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry, he and his team have held discussions with a range of interested parties, in particular survivors of the fire and other residents of the Lancaster West estate.
It has become clear from these discussions that those affected need more time to respond to the Inquiry’s consultation on its terms of reference. The consultation period is therefore being extended by two weeks until 28 July. This will provide additional time for people to respond meaningfully and ensuring the Inquiry’s work, which cannot begin without terms of reference, can progress quickly.
Details of meetings open to survivors and local residents to discuss the terms of reference, will be announced in the near future.
Public meeting at St Clement’s Church
The next community public meeting will take place on Wednesday 12 July from 6pm to 7.30pm at St Clement’s Church, Treadgold Street, London, W11 4BP. This follows on from the meeting that took place at the Al Manaar, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre last Wednesday.
The session will be led by the London Resilience Group and will aim to provide:
* an update from Response team representatives
* a face-to-face question and answer session
* guidance on information and support available
Meetings are open to the public, so please do come along or invite people from the Lancaster West estate who you think would like to attend. If you are unable to make this meeting, upcoming newsletters will provide updates on the timing and location of future meetings.
If you have suggestions of any issues you would like to see addressed in future meetings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
‘Spread the love for Grenfell’ music event
A night of live music, featuring reggae stars, hip-hop artists and DJs is being held on Friday 14 July to honour the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The ‘Spread the Love for Grenfell’ event is taking place at the Fox and Firkin, 316 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6JZ, from 8pm to 2am.
Entry is free, with donations being taken on the door to raise money for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
Legal aid for residents
Legal Aid is available to help people made homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire, and funding is also available to families to support them as they prepare for inquests. We encourage any family affected by the tragedy to apply for funding, which is granted by the independent Legal Aid Agency.
Find out more about legal aid online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=bb585179d4&e=992bac259f>
Justice Secretary says inquiry will reach “full truth” about Grenfell
The Justice Secretary, David Lidington, has stressed that the Grenfell Tower inquiry will get to the “full truth” about the fire.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Mr Lidington said: “I’m very confident we will get some terms of reference that will get to the truth, not just in terms of what happened on that particular day but what the regulatory decisions and the responsibilities that led up to that were.”
The inquiry is being led by retired Court of Appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick. The job of the inquiry is to examine the causes of the fire and why it was able to spread so quickly while a separate police investigation is investigating whether criminal charges should follow.
Mr Lidington said Sir Martin was “very, very determined” to establish the facts about the fire.
The terms of reference for the inquiry are due to be finalised by Thursday 20 July.
As soon as these terms have been agreed, the inquiry will begin taking evidence. Anyone with information can email their views to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Please visit the official inquiry website for further information<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=ffc0266013&e=992bac259f>
Support for businesses affected by the fire
A partnership between the Greater London Authority, Kensington and Chelsea council and Portobello Business Centre is working to support businesses that were affected by the Grenfell fire.
For businesses that had no or restricted access to their premises over an extended period following the fire (including Baseline Studios, Silchester Road and Blechynden Street rail arches), there will be no business rates to pay from 14 June to 31 December 2017. Any arrears prior to 14 June 2017 will be written off.
Businesses that have seen a reduction in trade since the fire can apply to Kensington and Chelsea council for hardship relief. Each application will be considered individually, and the application form can be found online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=871a62b8a1&e=992bac259f>.
For any queries regarding the application form, please contact the Council’s Policy and Control Team on 020 7361 3276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Business continuity fund
A business continuity fund has been created to support businesses affected by the fire. This fund includes £50,000 provided by Kensington and Chelsea council and the Mayor of London’s financial support for businesses affected by the recent terrorist attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire of £300,000.
Businesses will be able to apply for financial support to assist with:
* the costs of business support advice to help businesses get back on their feet
* direct grants to businesses whose turnover has been impacted by the disaster if they are not covered by insurance
* bridge funding to businesses who are covered by insurance but who are experiencing delays in receiving payments – with the expectation that once the insurance has paid out the funding will be recovered
The response fund for Grenfell businesses will be delivered through Portobello Business Centre (PBC) and the details of the fund’s operation are being developed by the GLA, RBKC and PBC. Businesses that have been affected should register their details with Portobello Business Centre.
For more information and independent business advice, please contact the Portobello Business Centre on 020 7460 5050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Tower movement carefully monitored
Grenfell Tower is being continuously monitored for any signs of structural movement, to ensure the safety of everyone living and working nearby, as well as those working in the tower itself.
It is important to stress there is no risk to the general public, but some movement in the building is expected as it contracts following the intense heat of the fire.
A threshold of five millimetres movement in any direction has been agreed with the Health and Safety Executive and engineers. Sensors are in place across the building, mainly on the upper floors, and these will alert staff on site should the building move more than five millimetres in any direction.
There is now an on-site alarm system attached to the core of the building which will alert people within the tower should the threshold of movement be breached.
Befriending support for families from Family Friends
Local charity, Family Friends, has launched a special programme for families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The free programme will give extra support to families this summer.
Under the scheme, Family Friends will provide a reliable, trained and supervised volunteer who will provide practical and emotional support in the family’s home or place of residence for two or four hours a week for a period of up to three months.
The Child Mentoring scheme gives children aged 5 to16 the chance to have fun and receive support from a mentor in a programme that can be tailored to their specific needs. This will include trips to places of interest, academic support and one-to-one emotional support. Volunteers will also be able to provide direct support to parents if needed, and help direct them to available support services.
The Parent Befriending programme provides support for parents of young people up to 16 years old. Volunteers will provide parents with support around relocation, paperwork, applications for grants or accessing resources. Volunteers will also be able to provide support around parenting, such as accompanying families on outings outside of the local area.
For more information about the support available from Family Friends, you can go online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=ade2430dde&e=992bac259f>, call 020 8960 9099, or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Westway Assistance Centre
The Westway Assistance Centre remains the place to go if you have been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire and are looking for specialist advice and support.
The Assistance Centre was set up to provide immediate, 24-hour support and emergency aid to the people and families affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
The efforts of all the volunteers, emergency services, and all other people on the ground in the aftermath of the incident have been outstanding in a time of extreme emotional distress for affected families.
Now that the initial need for housing assistance for families who lost their homes has been delivered, the role of the Assistance Centre has changed as the rapid need for emergency support reduces and more long term support is established.
The centre is now open from 10am to 8pm, and dedicated staff are on hand at the centre to provide a wide range of support and advice, from the NHS, Home Office, Benefits, Post Office, Transport for London, Adults’ and Children’s Social Care, Housing, HMRC, Passports, DVLA and Immigration.
To date, the Westway Assistance Centre has registered over 1,430 people, and yesterday provided advice to an average of 15 people an hour.
For other practical or emotional support, please call the Red Cross helpline on 0800 458 9472. The line is open from 8am to 8pm. Out of these hours messages can be left on an answer phone which will be picked up and responded to in the morning. If you have any feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund
The British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund has so far raised over £4.5 million to help people affected by the fire, and the Red Cross is working with the K&C Foundation and London Community Foundation to make money available now.
The Red Cross has so far transferred £2.4 million to the London Emergencies Trust, which is making grants available to people.
Every family who lost someone in the Grenfell fire will receive £20,000 and all those seriously injured – hospitalised for seven days or more – will receive £10,000. Anyone hospitalised for more than six hours will receive £3,500.
To date, there have been seven completed applications for these grants, another 15 applications are in progress and there have been 30 further enquiries. The British Red Cross is urging anyone else who is ready to apply to call them on 0800 458 9472 as the money is available now.
None of the money raised will be spent on administrative costs or salaries and it will all go to the victims of the disaster.
Donations can be made online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=4e25f7a81e&e=992bac259f>
New Home Office scheme to support Grenfell Tower residents
The Home Office has launched a new scheme to allow people to stay in the UK for up to 12 months. We will make sure that people will be able to access the services they need, including accommodation and healthcare.
If people are here illegally, do not have an outstanding asylum claim or their stay in the UK is about to end, the scheme can help them. We will not use this tragedy as a reason to carry out immigration checks.
To access the new scheme, people do not need to submit an application but they need to come and talk to us in person. People will need to bring any evidence they have to show that they lived at Grenfell Tower on the date of the fire or close to it. If people have lost their evidence in the fire, we can still help.
People can speak face-to-face about the new scheme to our specialist Home Office team at the Westway Sports and Fitness Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP from 10am to 8pm. People are welcome to bring someone with them to help and translators are available if needed.
To learn more about the scheme, please call our helpline on 0300 222 0000 to arrange for a call back by our specialist visa and passport teams. The line is open 24 hours a day.
Over 40,000 boxes of donated items from the public are being stored and distributed by Kensington and Chelsea Council. These items are being distributed to victims of the fire from the Westway Centre where the Red Cross is helping to get items to those that require them.
The volume of items donated is such that there is more than can be used by those affected by the fire. The Red Cross is turning the rest of the saleable donations into money by selling it in their shops, with the funds raised being specifically directed to help the victims of the Grenfell fire.
Every penny from these sales will go to the victims’ fund, so people can choose for themselves and buy what they need to help rebuild their lives.
Transport to and from the Westway Assistance Centre The free shuttle bus service operating between the Westway Assistance Centre and the hotels temporarily rehousing large number of families will now operate as a request service in case there is a need for urgent assistance.
If anyone requires the use of a bus, please call 0344 251 0160 with details of the journey and times, and they will do their best to help you. The line is open 24 hours a day.
Air and rail update
Air and rail travel assistance is available to people affected by the fire who need to travel for humanitarian purposes, such as visiting family in hospital. However, requests must come from a recognised organisation supporting people affected rather than from individuals.
To make a request, please contact the British Red Cross on firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Public Health England (PHE) is continuing to provide specialist advice on health following the Grenfell Tower fire. This includes health advice on air quality, smoke exposure, asbestos, water quality and the handling of any waste materials and debris.
The risk to people’s health from air pollution around the site is low. PHE is constantly monitoring air quality and the latest readings show the air pollution level near the site continues to be low. Air quality monitors were installed in the immediate area of Grenfell Tower, with additional equipment being put in to support ongoing monitoring.
Drinking water quality has not been impacted by the fire and tap water is safe to drink and use as normal. If anyone has any concerns regarding their drinking water quality, they should contact the local water company in the first instance.
Waste materials and debris
If you have waste material or debris from the fire at your property, please contact the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council on 020 7361 3001 to make arrangements for them to collect it.
Air purifiers, which are generally used to reduce allergens from pets from the air, are not recommended for use in this situation because larger particles produced during the fire will have already settled and not be present in the air. Larger dust particles settle quickly onto surfaces and are best removed with a damp cloth.
More advice from Public Health England can be found online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=2f0c07a673&e=992bac259f>
Mental health support from the NHS
Dealing with the emotional trauma of an event as catastrophic as the Grenfell Tower fire can be extremely difficult, however there are mental health support services available to help you if you’re struggling to cope.
It’s important to know that it is normal to have strong emotional responses to traumatic events, and it is important to keep talking with each other, and to use support helplines, as expert support is only a phone call away.
If you are struggling or know someone who might be affected, you can call the NHS Mental health support line on 0800 0234 650 or email firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>. The line is open 24 hours a day.
Visa and passport support
If residents have had passports and immigration documents destroyed as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire, then they can talk to UK Visa and Immigration and Her Majesty’s Passport Office teams face to face or over the phone.
Specialist advisors are available to help at the Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP from 10am to 8pm.
Residents can also call the 24 hour advice line on 0300 222 0000 to arrange for a call back by a member of the visa and passport team.
DVLA support available
Staff from the DVLA will be available all week at the Westway Sports & Fitness Centre to help people with driving licences and other vehicle documents. Assistance is also available by calling 0300 083 0103.
Support pack for key workers
Guidance is available online for key workers supporting affected families as a result of the Grenfell Tower Fire with information on contacts and regular updates.
Information can be found online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=71abf093e5&e=992bac259f>
Community newsletters delivered to hotels
Printed copies of the Grenfell Fire Response News Community newsletter are being delivered to the hotels where residents who lost their homes are being temporarily located. The newsletters being sent are available in English, Arabic and Farsi languages.
All previous newsletters are also available online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=74232eb50e&e=992bac259f>
Access to financial assistance
As of 12 midday on 10 July, the total amount of financial assistance provided to families is £3,900,000. This includes a £500 cash payment for those over 16 and £5,000 per household 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. 119 families have accessed the £5,000 payment so far.
Residents of Grenfell Tower and Walk who have not yet accessed either the £500 or £5000 fund and wish to can do so at the Westway Centre.
Information on financial assistance
Whether families want to move or not, we know that household finances don’t stop and we are here to support that. There are a range of funds available to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire:
Department for Work and Pensions
The government has a £5 million Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund, to help support individuals affected by the fire. This includes initial guaranteed payments of £5,000 into bank accounts for each household and £500 cash for individuals who have permanently lost their home to help meet immediate needs, such as food and clothing. The fund is also available to help with funeral costs.
How to apply: please visit the Assistance Centre at the Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, 1 Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP where help is available to access this funding. Receiving this funding will not affect any existing benefits that are being claimed by individuals.
John Lyons Charity
Funding is available for groups or organisations working with children, young people and families. This is available to registered charities, CICs, non-profit community groups, schools and local faith groups.
How to apply: Organisations should complete an application form online<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=6c96b7fe75&e=992bac259f> and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
A £1 million fund is available for smaller charities and local organisations that stepped in to help in the immediate response to the disaster. This fund will help reimburse organisations and to make sure their ongoing work is supported.
How to apply: Please download an application form<http://grenfellresponse.us16.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=23546f670eeb5ed7b6936ce16&id=a549fad412&e=992bac259f>
London Funders will also be in the Westway Sports & Fitness Centre on Thursdays to help fill in forms.
London Emergencies Trust – funding from public donations The next of kin of those who tragically lost their lives in the Grenfell fire will receive an initial £20,000 from public donations. Those injured and hospitalised for seven days or more will receive an initial £10,000, and those injured and hospitalised for six hours or more an initial £3,500. London Emergencies Trust is distributing these funds on behalf of the British Red Cross, K&C Foundation and the London Community Fund / Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund. This funding all comes from donations by the public.
How to apply: Family Liaison Officers (FLO) who are attached to families affected will pass on and help fill in an application form. They can also call the British Red Cross helpline on 0800 458 9472 between 8am and 8pm.
‘Fresh Start Grants’ – funding from Public Donations to the K&C Foundation People who lived in Grenfell Tower and Grenfell Walk will receive a ‘fresh start’ grant of £10,000 per household when they have been provided with confirmation of new temporary or permanent accommodation. These grants will be made from the K&C Foundation Grenfell Tower Fund donations and administered by Rugby Portobello Trust.
To find out more, speak to the New Homes Team at Rugby Portobello Trust on 020 7229 2928 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
I’ve lost my passport in the fire and don’t know what to do?
If your passport, British Residence Permits, nationality, birth and marriage certificates or visas have been destroyed as a result of the Grenfell Tower Fire, then help is still available to you. You can meet with an advisor at the Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP or call the 24 hour advice line on 0300 222 0000 to arrange for a call back by a member of the visa and passport team.
Will my eligibility for benefits be affected if I receive the £5,500 fund?
The Department for Work and Pensions have said that your income-related benefits won’t be affected by payments from the fund. Other benefits such as Personal Independence Payments won’t be affected either and any payments from the emergency fund will not be taxed.
When will I get hot water back?
The boiler which provided hot water and heating to Grenfell Tower and local properties was destroyed by the fire. A new, temporary boiler has now been fitted as a short to medium-term solution and the hot water supply has been restored.
How can people find their post?
Mail for Grenfell Tower can be collected from Royal Mail’s West London Delivery Office, Unit 20-23, West London Delivery Office, Premier Park Road, NW10 7NZ (open Mon to Fri 8am to 2pm and Sat 8am to 1pm). Mail collection is also available by prior arrangement on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from the Royal Mail desk at the Westway Sports Centre.
Please call 01752 387055 to make a mail collection arrangement. ID is required to collect your mail.
A free, one year Redirection service is also available to those affected. For more information about the Redirection and for any other enquiries please call Royal Mail on 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 on 0800 032 4539.
Media enquiries: Grenfell Fire Response Team 24 hour media centre on
020 7641 3677/3678/3679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For all other contacts, please consult our leaflet.