The Salvation Army’s emergency response team continues to support London’s emergency services in the Grenfell Tower area. Funded entirely by public donations, the emergency response team is able to supply food, drink and experienced volunteer personnel to assist firefighter, police and ambulance crews with refreshment and emotional support.
In Notting Hill, our Salvation Army church on Portobello road has now been stood down as a family liaison centre. They have been overwhelmed by the kindness of people donating items. The generosity has proved sufficient at present and members of the public are advised to hold onto their donations until both The Salvation Army and other organisations identify as and when further or specific items are needed for the people affected by this tragedy.
Meanwhile, the public can support The Salvation Army’s emergency response teams by donating to the appeal on the website (www.salvationarmy.org.uk/) or by donating to support victims via the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation (https://thekandcfoundation.com/).
A spokesperson for The Salvation Army said:"We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public, not only with their donations but also with their heartfelt thoughts and prayers.
The devastating effects of the fire at Grenfell Tower were immediate and will continue to be felt long-term. In times like these, people just want to be able to help.
"We are working closely with the local authority to assist them in responding to the needs of the people who have been affected and we'll continue to work closely with them. We recognised that members of the public wanted to support the effort, so we set up a cash donation page so that people can give funds to our emergency response team where volunteers have been - and still are - on hand providing food, drinks and emotional support to the emergency service crews.
"The public's generous spirit has been incredible, however, as yet we still don't know the scale of the response that's needed for those who've been directly impacted by the tragedy. We will keep in close contact with the local authority and in the meantime we would ask the public to make sure they check that centres are accepting donated items of clothing, toys and furniture before heading there. We would also direct people to the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation, which is running an appeal for money that will go directly to people affected by the fire.
"We have gratefully accepted an unprecedented amount of donated items at our Notting Hill church, which a team of volunteers is currently sorting through. Due to storage and safety we are no longer able to accept any more donated items there.
"If people have collected items and are unsure what to do with them at the moment, we would suggest that they keep an eye and ear open for specific requests from Kensington and Chelsea Borough council as and when the needs are identified. Alternatively, if they would like to support the work of The Salvation Army, we have lots of charity shops across the UK, all of which raise funds for our work with vulnerable people."