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Grenfell Tower Fire: Support for people affected

Have you been affected by the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower?

Please see below information which may be of some help.  

Grenfell Community Newletters IMG_7693 2

Urgent advice and support for victims, their friends and families 

The Grenfell Assistance Centre will move on Thursday 20 July from the Westway Sports Centre to new long-term premises nearby at The Curve, 10 Bard Road, W10 6TP.

Located just around the corner from Latimer Road Station and the Westway Centre, it will ensure that there is a space for people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire to meet up and continue to access services.

The new centre will open its doors on Thursday 20 July and will continue to provide residents with an extensive range of support. The new building will also provide a space for the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire to meet with family, friends and neighbours.

The centre will be open from 10am to 8pm everyday providing a wide range of advice:

  • Housing Needs advice
  • Family & Children Services
  • Adult Social Care
  • Benefits advice
  • NHS GPs
  • Mental Health referrals
  • Passports
  • Transport
  • General advocacy from a variety of sources

Other services include:

  • emotional support
  • a crèche for children
  • food and toiletries area
  • an area to place orders for new clothes

Community volunteers will also be present to carry on their crucial work of supporting those affected in every way possible

 

A Red Cross helpline is in action to help give practical or emotional support to anyone who needs it and capacity of this is being expanded to give people a central point of contact. The number is 0800 4589472 – available 24 hours.

Residents who are displaced due to the fire please call the Kensington and Chelsea Council housing line on 020 7361 3008.

Any family and friends concerned about their loved ones please contact the Casualty Bureau on 0800 0961 233. If someone was reported as missing and has been found safe, please call the Casualty Bureau with an update.

The NHS encourages Londoners to use NHS services wisely and seek advice from NHS 111 in the first instance.

Emergency fund for Grenfell Tower residents moneywiser

The government has announced details of the emergency £5 million Grenfell Tower Residents’ Discretionary Fund for households who have lost their homes as a result of the fire:

  • Every household whose home has been destroyed as a result of the fire will receive a guaranteed £5,500 minimum down payment from the fund. This will be made up of a £500 cash payment and £5,000 delivered through the Department of Work and Pensions into bank accounts or similar in a single payment;
  • The £500 cash payment has already begun to be made available to those affected and further payments are available immediately from the Council at the Westway Sports Centre or from Monday 19 June through the Post Office in Portobello Road, as and when families need it;
  • The £5,000 payment will be available from Monday 19 June and support workers will assist households in accessing it – including those who do not have bank accounts;
  • The fund is also being made available to meet funeral costs, and to top up payments for those households with complex or additional needs.

The fund will be kept under review and will increase if necessary.

Benefit enquiry line pg 14 Kelsey texting on mobile phone

The government has set up a dedicated benefit enquiry line for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.  The following numbers will be manned between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday:

  • 020 7941 6661
  • 020 7941 6634
  • 020 7941 6671

Air Quality and Smoke Exposure:  People who have concerns about any symptoms should seek medical advice or call NHS 111.   Grenfell Air Quality Figures now available: You can read the report online

Banks: The banking industry is ready to help people who have lost their homes in the fire at Grenfell Tower and lost all access to their bank cards, accounts and ID documents. Banks have been contacting customers to provide assistance and arrange emergency access to funds.

Those who do not have a bank account can get support at the The Curve Centre, 10 Bard Road, W10 6TP to set one up.

  • Bank of Scotland: 0345 721 3141
  • Barclays: 0345 734 5345
  • Co-op: 03457 212212
  • Halifax: 0345 720 3040
  • HSBC: dedicated support line on 03456 092527
  • Lloyds: 0345 300 0000
  • NatWest: 0161 451 0217
  • Nationwide: 0800 917 23 93
  • Royal Bank of Scotland: 0161 451 0218
  • Santander: 0800 0156 382 

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT:  A specially trained police officer called a Family Liaison Officer will support the next of kin of each person who lost their lives or who is missing. Each of these people will also get a dedicated Key Worker who will help them to get the help they need and also consider the needs of the wider network of relatives and friends.

Parent and family support trauma sessions:  A special programme of therapeutic group counselling delivered by experts in trauma care will be provided to parents and families who have been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire from September.

These counselling sessions will be jointly delivered by experts in trauma care and by Full of Life, a support group for children and young adults with disabilities and their families.

The sessions will take place at the Full of Life centre in Kensal House, 379 Ladbroke Grove, on the following dates:

  • 19 September at 11.30am
  • 4 October at 11.30am
  • 8 November at 11.30am
  • 22 November at 11.30am
  • 6 December at 11.30am

For more information, please contact 020 8962 9994 or email info@fulloflifekc.com

Mental health and emotional support for young people: There are lots of services available to help young people who may have been left traumatised and upset by the Grenfell Tower fire.   

Support for children: If a parent, relative, friend or teacher of a child affected by the Grenfell Tower fire has questions about how to support them, they can download a leaflet

Support over the phone: 

  • Young people under 25 can call Childline any time on 0800 1111 and have a one-to-one chat with a supportive, trained counsellor anytime, day or night.
  • Young people can also call the Samaritans helpline on 116 123. The line is open 24 hours a day.
  • The British Red Cross helpline is also available to anyone who has been affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. For practical or emotional support, please call the helpline on 0800 458 9472. The line is open from 8am to 8pm.

Online services: 

  • Kooth.com is a free online counselling service for children aged 11 to 19.
  • NHS Go provides health information for young people under the age of 25, including advice on coping with stress after a major incident.

Cruse Bereavement Care offers support to adults, young people and children when someone dies, whatever the circumstances. They offer face-to-face, telephone, email and website support. Their free phone helpline is 0808 808 1677 and is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays), with extended hours to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.  You can also email them on helpline@cruse.org.uk.

The Samaritans offer emotional support round the clock. Anyone can contact the Samaritans in confidence at any time for free from any phone on 116 123 (even if you don’t have credit on your mobile). Or you can text 07725 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org or go to www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch where you can talk to someone face to face.

Coroners And Burials: A guide to coroner services and coroner investigations is available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/283937/coroner-investigations-a-short-guide.pdf  This will help families to understand how long they may have to wait before they hear news of identified bodies.

Counselling:  Those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire, either directly or indirectly, and in need of mental health support or psychological therapy can call a dedicated NHS response service number where people can get access to mental health support services as well as information and advice 24/7. The number is 0800 0234 650 or email cnw-tr.spa@nhs.net.

Those affected can also contact Victim Support, for free emotional and practical support. The line is open 24 hours a day: 08 08 16 89 111 

Cars left in parking garages: If any residents have cars left in the parking garages close to Grenfell Tower and would like to collect them, they can now do so. They should go to the police cordon at the Grenfell Road entrance between 12 and 1pm on any day, and the police will help them get their car.

Foreign Nationals: Foreign nationals may wish to contact their embassy, high commission or consulate. People directly affected by the fire who are seeking guidance on UK passports, visas, or immigration can call the Home Office advice line (0300 222 0000) 24 hours a day, to arrange for a call back by specialist teams. Any calls from outside the UK should include the UK dialing code: +44(0)300 222 0000. Please note calls are in English. Immigration officers are also available at the Assistance Centre, along with those able to help with Consular assistance. The British Red Cross family tracing service can also help people who wish to contact relatives overseas and have no means of doing so. Call the Red Cross support line and ask for the tracing service or email tracing@redcross.org.uk.

Housing: Residents who are displaced due to the fire should call the Kensington and Chelsea Council housing line on 020 7361 3008. Help and advice for those directly affected and in the surrounding area is available.

Immigration: The Home Office have emphasised that they will not be using the tragedy as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved or those providing vital information to identify victims. They will also make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need, including accommodation and healthcare.

Individuals directly affected by the fire who wish to speak directly to Home Office staff can do so by visiting the Westway Sports Centre, or can call 0300 222 0000 in order to arrange a call back from specialist immigration staff concerning passport, visa and immigration queries. Any calls from outside the UK should include the UK dialing code: +44(0)300 222 0000. Please note calls are in English and the line is available 24 hours a day.

JCWI  is offering advice to people affected who have irregular immigration status.   You can call on 020 7251 8708.

Interpreters: Staff at the Westway Sports Centre and via the Red Cross Helpline will be able to arrange interpreting services. 

Legal aid: Legal aid is readily available to help individuals and families made homeless by this disaster. Funding is also available for families to support them as they prepare for inquests. We actively encourage any affected family to apply for funding, which is granted by the independent Legal Aid Agency. Find out more.

Local Business Support: Portobello Business Centre –  0207 460 5050   –  is offering advice to small businesses who have been affected.

Missing People: If people are concerned about a family member they should call the Casualty Bureau on 0800 0961 233. This is open 24 hours a day. If someone was reported as missing and has been found safe, please call the Casualty Bureau with an update.

Official Information: You can also check www.gov.uk/grenfell-tower  for the latest official information about support and services.

Overseas Relatives: People who wish to contact relatives overseas and have no means of doing so can call the Red Cross support line and ask for the tracing service or email tracing@redcross.org.uk. For those who are unable to contact the Casualty Bureau but are concerned about missing relatives please also contact the family tracing service as above.

Passports And Visas: The Home Office has a 24 hour advice line on 0300 222 000 (+44(0)300 222 0000 outside the UK) for those needing passports, visas or immigration advice. Please note calls to this line are in English.

Pets: Anyone affected by the fire in London and needing temporary accommodation for their dogs or cats can contact Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on 020 7627 9217.  If your pet needs treatment or fostering, Blue Cross animal hospitals (https://www.bluecross.org.uk/find-us) could be able to help. Call 0300 777 1890 for Victoria (central London), 0300 777 1800 for Hammersmith (west London) or 0300 777 1810 for Merton (south London).

Public Inquiry: Victims and their families will receive funding for legal representation at the Public Inquiry, and victims will be fully consulted before the Inquiry begins, allowing them to say what they think it should cover.

Drop-in sessions as Grenfell Inquiry consultation period further extended:  The consultation period on the Terms of Reference for the Grenfell Tower Inquiry has been extended by a further week, to Friday 4 August.

The consultation period had previously been extended by two weeks until 28 July. The additional extension will allow more time for people to respond and ensure the Inquiry’s work, which cannot begin without terms of reference, can progress.

It is very important for people affected by the fire to have the opportunity to say what questions they want answered by the public inquiry,  and drop-in sessions are being held this week and next week at Notting Hill Methodist Church to support people to submit their views.

Computers are available to write and submit responses. An independent advisor is available to help explain what the consultation is about and how to submit a response. The advisor can help with drafting responses if needed.

The details of this week’s sessions at Notting Hill Methodist Church, 240 Lancaster Road, W11 4AH are as follows:

  • Thursday 20 July, 2-4pm
  • Friday 21 July, 2-4pm
Information on further sessions will follow in future editions of this newsletter.

Arrangements for collecting mail: There are updated procedures for the delivery and collection of mail for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire. The Royal Mail will recommence deliveries to all accessible addresses from Monday 24 July. Anyone who would prefer to collect their mail, or have it redirected, should contact the Royal Mail on 01752 387055.

People collecting mail can do so, with proof of ID, from Unit 20-23, West London Delivery Office, 7 Premier Park Road, London, NW10 7NZ, Monday to Saturday, 8am to 2pm. Those who do not have ID, or would like to collect their mail from the Grenfell Assistance Centre, should call 01752 387055.

Alternatively, people can redirect their mail for free at the following places:

Some people who previously put a redirection in place may now back in their properties. They can cancel the redirection by calling the Royal Mail on 01752 387057.

See further information about the support available from Royal Mail.

Schools:  Kensington Aldridge Academy is operating for Years 7-9 at Burlington Danes Academy, Wood Lane, and the sixth form is being accommodated at Latimer Upper School, King Street, Hammersmith. These arrangements will stay in place until the end of term.

St Francis of Assisi Primary School is operating from the Sion-Manning School in St Charles Square in North Kensington. It is likely that St Francis will return to its permanent site on Monday 26th June.

Each school has a link Educational Psychologist as well as a link CAMHS worker who are providing targeted support to all affected schools. Senior contact for the EP services is Helen.kerslake@rbkc.gov.uk and the CAMHS manager is David.bailey4@nhs.net.

Travel: The DVLA has set up a dedicated enquiry line for residents affected by the tragedy who need to replace their driving licence or vehicle registration certificate. The number to call is 0300 083 0103 which will be staffed from 8am to 7pm between Monday and Friday, and from 8am to 2pm on Saturday.  Applications will be dealt with immediately and all fees that apply for issuing replacements will be waived.

Support package across energy, water and telecommunications sectors :  Utility companies have announced a package of support for victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Suppliers have agreed to write off outstanding utility bills for victims of the fire, as well as providing other assistance. This support comes on top of £5 million fund to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.

 

How you can help

Volunteer
If you would like to volunteer to help with the support effort being co-ordinated by Kensington and Chelsea Council please register your interest by emailing grenfellvolunteers@rbkc.gov.uk including your name, contact number and availability.
Donate
The British Red Cross charity has been asked by Kensington and Chelsea Council to help co-ordinate fundraising in an appeal to support the residents and neighbours of the Grenfell Tower fire. By donating to their London Fire Relief Fund, you can help those who have been left bereaved, injured, or homeless by this tragedy.

The Charity Commission has issued advice for anyone donating to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire to ensure that their donations go to legitimate charities.
Police appeal for photos/videos
The police are appealing for anyone with any photos or videos relating to the incident to send them to their investigation team. Please select ‘Grenfell Investigation’ from the drop down menu before uploading anything.

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