Since the tragic event at the Grenfell tower – in North Kensington, West London – began to unfold, volunteers across many Muslim charities began scrambling to help those in need. According to reports from the volunteers involved in this cause, there were volunteers distributing crates of water to the victims of the fire since 3 am, approximately 2 hours after the initial reports of the incident.
Overwhelming united response
Soon after, an Incident Response Team was formed with all the Muslim charities that were on the ground to co-ordinate the aid efforts, “It was all a united effort with a common cause, no divisions” said one of the leading members who did not want to be named out of humility. There were people from multiple backgrounds assisting in this cause.
They’ve insisted that the response from the community across Britain has been overwhelming, “we collectively had a surplus number of items by 6pm yesterday to possibly suffice for a month” he said.
People from Manchester, Birmingham, Slough and from across London and the home counties have been aiding and offering to aid the Incident Response Team by providing moral, financial, material and physical assistance wherever needed, “We are co-ordinating in order to help us distribute our available resources accordingly” he said. They have received food, drinks, clothes and other required essentials.
“We have had to repeatedly ask people not to bring any more items and we’re looking for places to store these items in the mid-term.”
When asked about council’s assistance, he said, “The council is concentrating on housing the victims and we’re yet to receive a response regarding the storing of these goods”.
“We are in need of financial aid, not items”
Charities are collectively asking people to donate to any of the co-ordinating charities in order help to distribute the aid swiftly and efficiently.
“Most of the people from the Grenfell Tower have been given temporary accommodation, but the people who have evacuated from the surrounding area are still in respite centres.”
We need the financial aid to help the surviving victims.
Masājid collected aid
Within hours of volunteers reaching the area, Masājid across London were collecting aid to deliver to the volunteers on the ground. Many of these Masājid where filled with more aid than expected and had to get additional transportation to deliver the materials.
Below are some points that have been summarised from their messages.
- They do not need any more items to be donated
- They need financial donations
- One of the donation link: https://give.everydayhero.com/uk/west-london-fire-emergency-appeal
- They need volunteers onsite
- Licensed Male and Female security officers to volunteer at al-Manār Centre over the next 10 days
- They need storage space
- Families enquiring about loved ones should contact the main information point at Westway Sports Centre, 1 Crowthorne Road, W10 6RP.
- This is the rest and respite centre for families and evacuees.
- Eden Burial Service is offering FREE advice on burial and bereavement services.
- Contact: Anika Sadeque on 07718 175461 or [email protected] or Ahad on 07932 597239.
- Eden are also providing befriending and advocacy services for affected families.
- Eden can also refer non-Muslim burials to their partner organisations.
- Sukoon Counseling Service is available to victims and families affected. Please contact Rehan on 07943 561561.
- National Zakat Foundation is focused on the education, calculation and distribution of Zakat to eligible persons in the UK.
- If you are aware of families in need of immediate and long-term cash grants and assistance please visit www.nzf.org.uk for more information. Or contact 03333 123123.
- No media interviews will be done with families out of respect for the families to ensure privacy and dignity at this difficult time as many are waiting for confirmed news about their loved ones.
The Muslim Emergency Response Unit is a coordinated effort and collaboration of British Muslim UK registered charities and local authorities providing services to meet the needs of victims and families affected in the fire. Further updates will be provided in the next few days.