Grenfell Tower fire: Evening Standard to hand out landmark aid package as fund hits £4.6m


A landmark package of assistance for Grenfell Tower families was announced today as our fund hit £4.65 million thanks to contributions from almost 50,000 individual donors. 

The multi-million-pound package, agreed by the Evening Standard  Dispossessed Fund in consultation with two other major charities, is set to make a substantial difference to victims of the blaze and was announced this morning by the Charity Commission. It commits us to a first-round package of funding in which:

£20,000 will be paid to the families of each person who has died, or is declared missing presumed dead. A family that has lost more than one member will receive £20,000 per victim.

£10,000 is available to each person seriously injured and requiring hospital treatment.

A £10,000 fresh-start grant will be made to every Grenfell Tower family which has been made homeless. 

Give £5 or £10 by texting GREN88 + amount to 70070 (eg GREN88 £5)

To donate online visit www.dispossessedfund.org.uk

The Dispossessed Fund will provide the largest portion of this consolidated package with the balance coming from the British Red Cross and the Kensington & Chelsea Foundation. Funding to bereaved families and those injured in the fire will be available for immediate distribution, with the fresh start grants to be made when families move into new permanent accommodation. Further fresh start grants will be allocated from our fund in the coming weeks. 

It comes on top of the £215,000 already disbursed by our fund, including £107,000 of emergency grants given out in £1,000 instalments to each family who survived, and with a further £110,000 paid to community groups.

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A close up of the inferno at Grenfell Tower where at least 79 died. (Jeremy Selwyn)

David Holdsworth, chief operating officer at the Charity Commission, said: “This [three-way] collaboration 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 this will hopefully provide some help to those suffering at this most difficult time.”

George Osborne, editor of the London Evening Standard, thanked the almost 50,000 donors who have contributed to our fund and said: “The numb shock I felt when I stepped out of my home and saw the burning tower block that early morning will never leave me. The tragedy of Grenfell Tower has rightly thrown a spotlight onto divisions in our society, but the incredible response of Londoners has also brought us together in unity. 

“The army of volunteers and now the millions of pounds of donations from tens of thousands of individuals and hundreds of businesses has shown our country at its best. As editor, I offer a deep, heartfelt thank you.”

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE FUND

The two community groups responsible for making emergency payments from our fund of £1,000 per flat have been handing out cash all week and by this morning had reached 107 families. Rugby Portobello Trust had distributed £83,000 and the National Zakat Foundation, based at the nearby Al-Manaar mosque, had disbursed £24,000 on our behalf. 

Leone Buncombe, senior youth worker at Rugby Portobello Trust and responsible for co-ordinating the Dispossessed Fund payments, said: “For us it is sadly personal as some of the children who were our clients died in the fire, including a family of five, a family of two, and two five-year-olds who attended our homework club. 

 

Lloyds Banking Group £500,000

Michael Spencer, NEX Group 250,000

Sky 250,000

Pret 105,000

HSBC 100,000

The Sun 100,000

Lycamobile 100,000

Westfield UK 80,000

Morgan Stanley 50,000

Burberry 50,000

Gilead Sciences 50,000

Stelios Philanthropic Foundation 50,000

Citi 37,000

London Stock Exchange 25,000

Hiscox UK 25,000

Canary Wharf Group 25,000

UBS 25,000

Battersea Power Dev Corp 20,000

Segantii Capital Mngment Ltd 18,000

Poundland 10,000

Stagecoach Group 10,000

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 10,000

Allen & Overy 10,000

Brit Group Insurance 10,000

CAF 10,000

“One of our youth club girls, Ines Alves, who lived in the tower, had her GCSEs the next morning and she was stood outside the tower with her revision books all night and remarkably still went and sat her exams. The impact keeps coming in waves. It is massive, massive, massive.”

Mark Simms, chief executive of Rugby Portobello Trust, said: “The Dispossessed Fund has enabled us to give Grenfell Tower residents an immediate payment of £1,000 to cover their short-terms needs. We know that rebuilding lives is a longer process and are pleased that the Standard has committed to support the people affected by this horrendous fire. 

“The ability to respond so quickly and to meet individual’s financial needs has at least been some comfort in the face of the trauma experienced by many in the immediate wake of this tragedy.”

​Iqbal Nasim, chief executive of National Zakat Foundation, said: “After experiencing the trauma of the fire, the grants that NZF has been able to administer, boosted by the support of the Dispossessed Fund, have brought much-needed immediate relief to the survivors. 

Grenfell Tower tribute messages – In pictures

“The importance of being able to respond swiftly with emergency cash, in what has until very recently been an utterly chaotic situation, cannot be overstated. Even though we have been utterly stretched by this crisis at what is already such a busy time of year for our organisation in the month of Ramadan, being able to give comfort and hope to the survivors has been one of the most memorable experiences of our lives.” 

Further distributions will be made to Grenfell Tower families once the administrators of the Dispossessed Fund have been able to properly consult residents.

The FA also announced today that all proceeds from the Community Shield, the traditional football season curtain raiser, will be donated to Grenfell Tower victims.

About £1.25 million is likely to be raised by the match  between FA Cup winners Arsenal and Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday August 6. FA chairman Greg Clarke said: “Like the rest of the country, we were all deeply saddened by the terrible incident at Grenfell Tower. 

“The suffering and loss for those involved is unimaginable. Whilst only a football match, we hope that in some small way through the Community Shield we can help.”

Speaking to the Standard, he added: “People called me from across the game — the Premier League, the Football League — saying this is awful, this is our community, we need to do something. Arsenal and Chelsea both contacted me — I didn’t have to call them — early on, within days of the disaster, expressing their willingness to go the extra mile.”

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Source : http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/evening-standard-to-hand-out-landmark-aid-package-as-fund-hits-46m-a3571766.html

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