Following the devastating fire that engulfed Grenfell Tower just over two weeks ago, the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit (GMRU) has been working on the ground to ensure that those who fled for their lives have been given emergency cash grants in order to alleviate some of their immediate difficulties. So far, £142,080* (excluding the Evening Standard's Dispossessed Fund) has been distributed by NZF to survivors of the fire and nearby evacuees. A total of 295 individuals and families** have received financial assistance to date.
As we move into the second phase of our response, we will cease emergency operations from Al Manaar Centre, but will still provide cash grants where needed via the phone and through working closely with staff at the Centre. In the next few days, Westway Centre (which became a makeshift shelter for hundreds of displaced residents) will revert back to its original use as a sports facility. Survivors have been allocated specific key workers and evacuees have a dedicated contact number through which they can access cash grants if required.
Iqbal Nasim, chief executive of National Zakat Foundation, said, "After experiencing the shock and trauma of the fire, the grants that NZF has been able to administer, boosted by the support of the Dispossessed Fund, have brought much-needed immediate relief to the survivors. The importance of being able to respond swiftly with emergency cash, in what has until very recently been an utterly chaotic situation, cannot be overstated. As a faith-based organisation that ordinarily focuses on the disproportionately high level of Muslim poverty in the UK, it has been wonderful to be able to offer support to survivors and evacuees of all faiths and none, with both Zakat and non-Zakat funds."
"Even though we have been utterly stretched by this crisis at what is already such a busy time of year for our organisation in the month of Ramadan, alongside fasting from all food or drink for almost nineteen hours a day, I'm sure I speak on behalf of all our staff and volunteers, as well as those who have supported the efforts of the wider Grenfell Muslim Response Unit, when I say that having been able to give comfort and hope to the survivors has been one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences of our lives."
NZF's focus will now turn to providing medium to long-term support to all those affected as they seek to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of such a devastating tragedy. We are committed to serving the ongoing needs of the survivors and recognise that our work will continue long after the media coverage has ended. Besides the influx of cases generated by events at Grenfell, NZF is busier than ever and now receives well over 300 applications for support from the wider community every month.
*NZF has supported survivors and evacuees of all faiths and none, with both Zakat and non-Zakat funds. The total amount of Zakat distributed to Muslims is £105,925 and the total amount of non Zakat funds distributed to non-Muslims is £36,155
** The total number of unique Muslim cases is 186 and the total number of unique non-Muslim casesis 109
Update 1 17th June 2017 - PDF 76kb
Update 2 24th June 2017 - PDF 82kb
In the news:
The Evening Standard. (19 June 2017). London fire donations: £1,000 emergency cash for blaze survivors from Evening Standard £3.3m appeal fund
The Evening Standard. (20 June 2017). Evening Standard's fund for Grenfell Tower victims hits £3.6m
The Evening Standard. (23 June 2017). Grenfell Tower fire: Evening Standard to hand out landmark aid package as fund hits £4.6m
The Evening Standard. (30 June 2017). Grenfell Tower fire: Evening Standard's fund for victims of blaze passes £5m
Key service areas include:
- Provision of emergency cash grants to families.
- Provision of supplies (clothes, toiletries etc).
- Provision of therapists, doctors and translators.
- Provision of legal representation.
- Provision of meals.
- Short term emergency accommodation.
- Burials and bereavement support (via Eden Care 07434 505 591)
Call the Hotline 0203 670 6004.