Salvation Army continue to respond to Grenfell Fire
published on 16 Jun 2017
A Salvation Army spokesperson, said:
“It is important that people understand that the official Local Authority Family and Friends Reception Centre is now solely based at Westway Sports Centre in Crowthorne Road and is being manned by the Police. This is where people will be able to receive support to access services such as official housing advice and receive donated items.
"In response to the fire at Grenfell Tower our Salvation Army church in Notting Hill opened its doors early in the morning and, at the request of the Local Authority, operated as a temporary family liaison centre. It has now been stood down from that official role, but our church, based in Portobello Road since 1878, is embedded in the community, and continues in its day to day work to support local people facing difficulties. A normal week will include community drop in sessions and groups for older people and for families with young children living locally. In the past few days 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. They have been offering practical support, love, compassion and a listening ear. Along with other churches in the area, our church will continue to open its doors when possible for people needing support. If the church is not open at any point it will simply be that the people who have been serving the community tirelessly since Wednesday morning need to rest and recuperate to continue their vital work into the future.
"Volunteers from the church have also been handing out water bottles and other supplies from the kind donations we have received to people in the streets and other public places in the area.
"The Salvation Army is also continuing to respond in our official capacity to the fire on the site of Grenfell Towers where we have been providing vital support to the attending fire and other emergency services since early Wednesday morning. Two of our fleet of Salvation Army emergency response vehicles arrived on the scene at 3am on Wednesday morning, following a request to support the co-ordinated effort from the London Fire Brigade. One of our emergency response vehicles, manned by a team of volunteers, is still at the scene serving food and refreshments, and offering emotional support to the emergency services working on the scene. They are expecting to be there throughout the weekend and the beginning of next week, and are ready to continue to support as needed.
"We have been moved by the kindness and generosity of local people and businesses who have approached us with donations to our church in Notting Hill in the aftermath of this tragedy. Clothing donations for the victims are sufficient at present, and surplus donations have been placed in secure storage and will be sold to raise funds to support the long term work of The Salvation Army in the local community of Notting Hill. We anticipate that this community will need additional support in the long term as it comes to terms with this terrible event and begins to rebuild for the future.