On the 14th of June, a fire started at Grenfell Tower, a 24 storey block of flats in North Kensington. Over 80 people have died, and hundreds have lost their homes.
On the morning after the disaster, Family Action launched an appeal through Justgiving, and through amazing generosity of supporters have raised over £300,000.
You can hear our CEO David Holmes talking about our grants service at http://bbc.in/2uvqPUd at 01:09:19.
Our grants service is now live and to date (06/09/17) we have given 111 grants with a total value of £170,250 to those who were living in Grenfell Tower at the time of the terrible fire. All grants made have been to improve the wellbeing of those households.
Grants allocated so far vary from: money to help people replace items destroyed by the fire, money to replace furniture, IT equipment, clothes and toys, money to help with large phone bills and additional travel costs, money to help people replace specialist items to enable them to go back to work or to continue their studies; money to enable people to get out of the area for a short break; and helping cover other additional costs because of the fire.
100% of the money we have received from this appeal will be distributed in grants to those affected.We are considering all requests for grants within two working days so that we get the money to the applicants very quickly.
As well as enabling individuals and families to access funds immediately, Family Action’s experience of grant giving shows that we need to make funds available in the longer term to meet needs that might not be apparent right now. Small amounts of money, given at the right time for the right things can have a significant impact on a family’s or individual’s ability to move forward. You can read more about how our Open Doors Grants Programme demonstrates just this.
How does our grants service work?
Since the fire, Family Action has been in conversation with local organisations working with people directly affected by the fire about how and when grants would be most effective. There has been an incredible emergency response from these organisations, and our intention has always been to try and provide support in the medium and long term. Our referral organisations are:The ClementJames Centre, The Westway Trust, the Venture Centre, The Rugby Portobello Trust and Action on Disability Kensington and Chelsea.
These referral organisations can make applications for grants on behalf of the people they are supporting. We work through referral organisations because they can help us ensure that grants are going to the right people, and because we know that grants are often more effective when given alongside other kinds of support.
What kind of things do grants go towards?
The grants made from your donations will go towards items or purposes that will support an individual or family’s general wellbeing as they seek to rebuild their lives following the fire. Examples could include funding for or towards:
• extraordinary or unexpected one off costs (such as to cover non-routine child care needs, e.g. to allow parents to attend therapy sessions or housing appointments, or large phone bills incurred contacting friends and family following the fire);
• leisure activities and day trips to support families in rebuilding their family lives; or
• the replacement of specialist equipment lost in the fire, such as to support with a disability or other particular need.
We have kept the criteria for grants broad and flexible to meet the varying needs of people directly affected by the fire. We are considering almost any need for funding as long as the case is made to us about why it would help an applicant.
We are offering grants of up to £2000 per applicant, with the option for people to apply again after six months, subject to the availability of funds.
We will continue working closely with referral organisations over the coming months and will keep our grants service under continuing review to make sure it is as effective as possible.
Thank you to everyone who has supported this appeal. If you have any questions about the service, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate today to support Family Action’s Grenfell Grants service.