Grenfell Tower community is ‘stronger after going through disaster together’



The dignity and determination of the community living around Grenfell Tower is a lasting testament to their community’s spirit, locals said today.

Within minutes of the fire starting on June 14 last year , dozens of residents had raced to the scene to help treat survivors and to direct fire officers from the ground during the search for those trapped in the tower.

In the aftermath of the disaster, hundreds of volunteers collected food, clothes and blankets to distribute among those left homeless. Residents also worked together to demand justice and answers about the fire. 

Mohammed Bakhtiar, 53, a Labour councillor who lives on the Henry Dickens estate, 300 yards from Grenfell, said: “I feel I have been affected, but in a positive way. I met so many hundreds of good people in the community. I didn’t know this good existed in the community, it’s a fantastic thing.

Tributes have been left at the tower one year on (Jeremy Selwyn)

“I am really amazed by the goodness of people’s hearts. Humans are very strong, we’ve been through tough times, we cope and adapt. That’s how we are still on the planet.”

Grenfell Memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral – In pictures

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The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service held at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Mourners leave after attending the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Adele teary eyed and emotional sitting next to Marcus Mumford and Carey Mulligan during the the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Maria Jafari bereaved daughter, speaking at Grenfell Tower memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Mourners hold white roses at the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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rince Harry, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Prince of Wales attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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A banner at Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Mourners arrive at St Paul’s cathedral for a Grenfell Tower National Memorial service

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Firefighters arriving for the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Guests arriving at Grenfell Tower Memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral

Jeremy Selwyn

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Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott arriving

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Prince Harry, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Prince of Wales attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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A woman appears emotional as she leaves the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire

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People hold photos and flowers as they leave after the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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People gather on the steps after the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire

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People hold photos and flowers as they leave after the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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The Duchess of Cambridge leaves St Paul’s Cathedral after a memorial service in honour of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Adele leaves St Paul’s Cathedral after a memorial service in honour of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

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The Duke and Duchess (left) of Cambridge and Prince Harry (2nd left) attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Theresa May arriving at Grenfell Tower Memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Sir Martin Moore-Bick, chairman of the Grenfell public inquiry arrives at Grenfell Tower Memorial service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Former footballer Les Ferdinand arrives

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Mourners arrive at St Paul’s cathedral for a Grenfell Tower National Memorial service

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry (behind) attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral

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The Duchess of Cambridge arrives

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Armed policewoman at Grenfell Tower Memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral

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People arriving for the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, to mark the six month anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Guests arriving at Grenfell Tower Memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive at St Paul’s Cathedral for a memorial service in honour of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Mourners arrive at St Paul’s Cathedral for a memorial service in honour of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Grenfell survivors and bereaved familly members attend the Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service held at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales arrives at St Paul’s cathedral for a Grenfell Tower National Memorial service

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Mourners arrive at St Paul’s Cathedral for a memorial service in honour of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire

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Jeremy Corbyn with a mourner at the Grenfell Tower Memorial at St Paul’s Cathedral

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Members of the public gather outside St Paul’s Cathedral ahead of the Grenfell Tower national memorial service

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The day after the fire, Mr Bakhtiar’s wife Badri began cooking “saucepans of biryani and soup and salad” for residents, volunteers and emergency services. “I don’t exaggerate, she fed 1,000 people at least within a week,” he said.

St Clement’s Church, 200 yards from the tower, became a refuge centre.  Vicar Alan Everett, 60, who has written a book about the fire, said the anniversary would be challenging. “I’ve got memories of that first night and the days that followed,” he said. “For all of us who were caught up in this, it is very difficult and is ongoing. 

Children affected by the fire Ferhat Achiou with his brother Nedir, sister Samira and Amin Rhammaz outside 10 Downing Street

“People find resources within themselves to cope, and I’m really struck by people’s resilience. But the root cause of the pain and the anxiety and the depression hasn’t gone away.”

He will oversee a 24-hour vigil which starts outside the church at 6pm today. Mr Bakhtiar is hosting a multi-faith gathering under the Westway at 2pm tomorrow.

Crowds gathered for an unveiling a memorial garden dedicated to the victims (PA)

Librarian Lee Taylor, 56, who has lived near Grenfell Tower for 23 years, said: “I didn’t lose anyone in the blaze. But every time I go to work it’s on my doorstep, I can’t ignore it. You just have to get up every day, go to work and somehow keep you mind, body and soul together. It sounds cliched, but time is the most important healer.”

Mohamed Ragad lost his nephew Hesham Rahman, 57, in the blaze. Mr Ragad, who lives in the neighbouring Verity Close estate, said: “We phoned my nephew at about 3am.

Grenfell Tower fire: One year on

“He was near the top. The fire brigade told him to stay there and they will get him, but they never did. 

“In the morning of the anniversary we will visit him at the graveyard and then join the silent walk. Everyone will be there together, survivors who got out, grieving families and neighbours. We are closer because we have gone through this whole thing together.”



Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/grenfell-tower-community-is-stronger-after-going-through-disaster-together-a3861881.html

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