A charity is set to improve the lives of those directly affected by the Grenfell Tower fire - thanks to YOUR generosity.
Getwestlondon readers raised a massive £42,267.04 on the Just Giving page we set up on the day of the terrible fire.
That money will go to Islington-based Family Action, and will be distributed via grants to help Grenfell families and individuals.
Chief executive David Holmes said: “I was just stunned by getwestlondon readers’ generosity, I’m genuinely overwhelmed.
“We’re so grateful that you have decided to give the money to us.
“I can guarantee that 100% of the money donated will go to families that have been affected.”
Family Action is a charity founded in 1869 which provides community-based services across England and Wales.
It also gives 1,500 financial grants to people in crisis every year.
On the morning of June 14, as a nation woke to watch in horror the fire at Grenfell, Family Action did the same thing getwestlondon, as many other concerned groups and individuals did, and set up a crowdfunder for the people from the tower.
Since then it has raised more than £265,000, and with the money given by our readers, that mark has now crossed the £300,000 mark.
In total, it has already given £146,000 in six weeks to people in need.
Explaining how this money has helped, Mr Holmes said: “When we give grants we look to work through partners on the ground.
“We know that they can help us get the money to where it needs to go.
“We identified five partners around Grenfell Tower, and I spoke to them individually.
“These people are in directly in contact with people that have been affected by the fire.
“To date, 96 grants of up to £2,000 have been given to help households.
“We have tried to be really broaden our criteria of what we will fund.
"We want to impact positively on a family’s wellbeing.”
Grants have been given to help pay large phone bills accrued by people keeping in touch with loved ones overseas, childcare costs, replacing clothing, computer equipment and helping people get back to work.
He said the money raised means that some of these people will be able to receive a second much-needed grant.
He said: “So what’s fabulous about your donation is we can add to the remaining money and use it to reach any of the households we have not reached so far, and I hope we can also use it to make a second grant to those who have already received a grant, which is just brilliant.”
Explaining why this was so important, he said: “A lot of the grants have been given to people who are still in hotels and not in permanent homes.
“When we set up the grants we thought we would be paying for furniture but we’re still helping people with more immediate needs.
“A second grant can hopefully we can help people again when they’re in their new homes.”
Looking ahead, he said it would be important that money continued to come in so that the charity can keep helping survivors and the community.
“The needs of these families will continue," he said.
"We’ve been able to help in immediate aftermath and we really hope we can still help in a couple of months down the line.
“Their needs will be continuing. As long as we have money to disperse we will keep on dispersing it.
“We are trying to find ways of meeting continuing needs in the future.
“We’re confident we will be able to spend the money that has been raised.
"That’s so important because the money was raised in good faith and we will make sure it goes to the people that need it.”
Thanking our readers, and all those who have supported its Grenfell Tower appeal, he continued: “We are so grateful for the support we have been given.
“It will enable us to do more and we absolutely promise that we will put the money to really good use.
“We can help and help in a way that will make a difference to people.
“We are so grateful for the support we have been given."
Getwestlondon set up its Grenfell Tower appeal page on the morning of the tragedy with a £5,000 target.
Within two hours, £1,000 had been raised and in seven hours the target met.
Our second target of £30,000 was reached by 3pm the following day (June 15) and within 30 days, getwestlondon readers raised an incredible total of £42,227.
A total of 1,636 amazing contributors pledged anything from £1 to £700.
Following fees to Just Giving, we were able to hand over an estimated net total of £39,589.05 to Family Action.
Thank you to everyone who gave money. Your generosity will make a difference.
To donate to Family Action's Grenfell appeal click here.
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