London fire: Community pulls together to assist those left homeless
Companies, individuals and charities sprung into action yesterday to offer help to anyone affected by the blaze, with crowdfunding pages raising more than £500,000 in less than 24 hours.
One appeal on JustGiving launched by Karolina Hanusova had raised £240,000 by 10pm, while another set up by Hayley Yearwood had generated £312,857 last night.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was overwhelmed with donations and last night said that staff were sorting through items, and they could not accept any more donations at present.
Local football clubs Queens Park Rangers and Fulham rushed to support those left homeless by the blaze. QPR said it had opened its doors and facilities to those affected by the fire, but also said it could not accept any more donations, while Fulham also helped with the collection drive.
A number of individuals even reached out via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to offer accommodation and transport help to those affected.
One woman, named Giselle, tweeted: "Just called (Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea) @RBKC and left my details. They are looking for emergency housing. I have offered my place. Do the same if you can #Grenfell". Instagram user co._lams posted an image reading: "Any residents of Grenfell Tower or Lancaster West Estate who need a local place to stay DM me." Businesses at the nearby Notting Dale Village brought trolleys of refreshments including sandwiches and fruit to the emergency services working at the cordons around Grenfell Tower.
Volunteers stood on the edge of the exclusion zone with trays of sandwiches, which were offered to police as they walked past.
Marco Antoniades, who owns MGA Autos on Latimer Road, near Grenfell Tower, has offered to take in "clothes, food or anything that can help" at his garage to deliver to people affected by the fire.
"I heard some of the other places for donations are full already so I'm just giving people the option to bring things here," he told the Press Association.
"Everyone is walking round in shock. I've seen a couple of friends nearly in tears in other garages round here. Like in most places in England people get together and help each other in times like this." Phone company EE also said people are welcome to use its r stores in the local area if they need to contact anyone or use social media and telecoms giant TalkTalk, whose headquarters are close to the tower block blaze, said it had thrown open its offices to residents in need of refuge.
The London Evening Standard launched an appeal on a dedicated website dispossessedfund.org.uk and the Rugby Portobello Trust suggested that donations be made to the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation's website: https://thekandcfoundation.com/donate/