Students from a London secondary school have raised hundreds of pounds to support victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, and handed a cheque over to the head of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The Pupils from Notre Dame Roman Catholic Girls’ School raised £800 after feeling compelled to do something to support those affected by the Grenfell fire. Rosie O’Leary, Religious Education teacher at the school based in St George's Road, accompanied the girls to The Salvation Army headquarters in Newington Causeway. She said: “The girls were asking us what ways they could help and contribute. They felt they needed to do something. Everyone had seen the news in the media and it touched the hearts of everybody. The girls wanted to help in any way, shape, or form.” The young people held an own clothes day at their school, meaning pupils could donate £1 to wear their own clothes for the day. Some of the girls also sold ice lollies to other students to help raise more money. Nicole, 15, said: “I felt like as a community we could do much more together. I will go home and have food to eat and have everything I need and those people [the people affected by the Grenfell fire] won’t have anything and that is not fair.” Favour, 13, added: “I wanted to inspire other people at the school. I hope we can inspire others to support people who are more in need than we are. What we have is a privilege. Often we don’t recognise it.” The Leader of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland, Commissioner Clive Adams, told the girls: “We thank you for what you did and for thinking about the victims of Grenfell Towers. It is still hard for them, they are still struggling. Your hearts are open and not focused on yourselves. There is hope for the world when young people see [other] people’s needs and act to do something.”
The young people also heard from Captains Karl and Ruth Gray who co-ordinated The Salvation Army's support for the emergency services serving at the scene.The money raised by the school, will be used to assist those who have been affected by the tragedy, through the work of The Salvation Army’s church (known as a corps) in Notting Hill. The church initially operated as a temporary family liaison centre at the request of the Local Authority, but was then stood down from that official role. Our church there is embedded in the community, and so continues in its day to day work to support local people facing difficulties. Our officers (church ministers) and team of volunteers in Notting Hill have been providing intensive one to one support to people who have been affected by the incident, many of whom are known to them personally. For two weeks, The Salvation Army also responded in an official capacity, by providing vital support to the attending fire and other emergency services serving at the scene. Our emergency response vehicles, manned by a team of volunteers, served food and refreshments, and offered emotional support to the emergency services. The Salvation Army has also provided continued assistance by collating and sorting brand new donations of clothes and toiletries for the victims which are being distributed by the local Authority. The public can support The Salvation Army’s emergency response teams by donating to our emergency appeal or via the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation appeal to support victims of the tragedy directly.