Grants have been made available from three of the main funds which have so far raised over £11m following the Grenfell Tower Fire to those who have suffered loss.
Three of the major funds for the people affected by the Grenfell fire - the British Red Cross, K&C Foundation, and the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, in collaboration with The London Community Foundation - are coming together with the London Emergencies Trust to make money available immediately.
The London Emergencies Trust is a registered charity which was set up in March after the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge earlier this year.
So far £11.1m has been raised for the victims through these three funds, after the fire tore through the Grenfell Tower block in Kensington last week leaving an expected 79 people dead.
- The K&C Foundation, an independent charity set up by local people which raises funds and resources for over 50 local charities a year, set up an appeal which has raised £3.4m so far.
- The British Red Cross has raised £2.8m so far through its London Fire Relief fund.
- The London Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund and others, have raised £4.9m so far.
Gerald Oppenheim, chair of the London Emergencies Trust, said: “Our aim to make sure that the money which was so generously donated by the public is distributed in a timely fashion and with compassionate regard to the individual circumstances of the people affected by these terrible events.
“Anyone who qualifies for a LET award, and who makes a valid claim, will be paid irrespective of nationality, circumstance or any other factor”.
Some money from these funds has already been distributed, including £120,000 from the K&C Foundation released to six frontline local organisations and disbursed as immediate grants to those who have lost their homes. The Rugby Portobello Trust has been one of multiple agencies working within the community and have distributed over £107,000 along with direct care, assistance and support to those affected.
The London Community Foundation has already released £120,000 in total to households in Grenfell Tower and £100,000 to 20 local organisations supporting those affected.
Local and national charities have also been on the ground in the vicinity of Grenfell Tower since the fire last Wednesday, working together to help the emergency relief effort and support the local community.
The Charity Commission said it was offering support and advice to these charities as they work together to coordinate financial help for those affected. The regulator said that active discussions over the last few days are ensuring “a unified approach from these charities to this national tragedy”.
It said that all of those involved have committed to meeting needs of those bereaved, seriously injured, and who have lost their homes, and making sure it is as simple as possible for people to access those funds.
First phase of funding announced
The Commission has announced the first phase of joint funding for the victims of the fire.
An initial payment of £20,000 will be distributed to the next of kin for each person who has died or is declared missing presumed dead upon those details being released.
Initial payments of up to £10,000 are now available for immediate distribution to each person seriously injured and requiring hospital treatment.
These initial disruptions will be funded from donations made to the British Red Cross London Fire Relief Fund, the K&C Foundation and The London Community Foundation, with the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund.
The funds will be released as details of those affected are released, and will be distributed by the London Emergencies Trust.
Another £10,000 is available for every family from Grenfell Tower as a ‘fresh start’ grant as they move into new permanent accommodation. This will come from donations made to the K&C Foundation, and will be available to those moving into new permanent accommodation from the Rugby Portobello Trust from Monday.
The Commission has said that these are initial distributions to meet immediate need. It said that the group of charities will be closely monitoring the needs of those affected and further charitable funds will be distributed over the coming weeks and months.
The charities have confirmed their intention to continue working collaboratively to make sure donations are spent effectively and meet the needs of the community.
These funds are separate to, and independent of, funds made available by the Government or local authority but the charities involved will seek to work with the authorities where necessary in the weeks ahead.
The Commission said last week that it had been in talks with sector leaders to discuss ways of ensuring a coordinated response in the event of future tragedies.
Charities wanting to get involved
The Commission said that charities who want to offer help and resources can contact [email protected].
Those involved in the discussions so far include: British Red Cross, K&C Foundation, London Emergencies Trust, London Funders, London Community Foundation, Muslim Aid, Rugby Portobello Trust, and the Charity Commission.
Charities ‘at the forefront’
David Holdsworth, chief operating officer at the Charity Commission, said: “Local and national charities, with their fantastic volunteers, have been at the forefront of supporting those in need since the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower. The British public have now donated millions to help the victims. Independent charities working together, at the heart of the community affected, will continue to have a vital role to play.
“This collaboration, along with the first immediate distribution of funds from public donations, will help ensure clear, easy access to the help and support that those affected by this devastating tragedy so urgently need. They can never heal what has happened but will hopefully provide some help to those suffering at this most difficult time.”
Michael Adamson, chief executive of the British Red Cross, said: "When something as appalling as the Grenfell fire happens it is absolutely natural that people want to help. We launched a national appeal to use our experience of fundraising to help people give to a cause that desperately needs their help, and to complement the amazing charitable work happening in the Grenfell community.
"No amount of money can take away the pain of the past eight days, but for people who have lost everything we hope it will help towards rebuilding their lives. Thank you to everyone who has given, and thank you to our partners for helping find a sensible way to get money to people who need it as soon as possible."
Russell Delew, chief executive of The London Community Foundation, said: “The public outpouring of support towards this appeal has been phenomenal and has enabled us and the other charities involved to give immediate help to those whose lives have been devastated by this terrible event.
"We will continue to listen to the needs of the community at this difficult time to ensure that we continue to give the right help in the right way. We’re here for the long term, and are proud to be part of the collaborative effort to help those affected.”
Susan Dolton, director at the K&C Foundation, said: “As an established local charity we were one of the first to raise and distribute funds to those who lost their homes in the Grenfell Tower fire through some of our excellent local charity partners. We welcome this new unified effort that will ensure that everyone affected by this tragic event receives the support they need as quickly as possible.”
More details of how to access this funding can be found here.