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Grenfell: one year on...

11 June 2018

Thursday 14 June 2018 marks one year since the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower that took the lives of 72 members of our community. We stand in solidarity with everyone affected by the fire. 

The chaos and confusion that ensued in the following days, added further injury and insult to the hundreds of people immediately impacted by the fire and the wider community. Their anger and frustration were matched only by their incredible kindness and generosity. 

The people of North Kensington came together in a way that hasn’t been seen in this country for decades. We will be forever grateful to all of our neighbours, supporters and volunteers who came out at all hours, for hours on end, to do whatever was needed to help their neighbours, when they needed it the most.

Like the rest of our community we were not prepared for what we faced at 1.30am on 14 June. We were overwhelmed in those early hours. The fact is, it is only because of the sheer kindness of our neighbours, the help of our supporters and the unwavering support of volunteers that we were able to keep our doors open and support the people affected when they needed it the most. 

Within weeks of the fire, we had expanded our services to support the community for the longer-term, adding five new community-based support services to our core offering of seven youth and children's programmes. One year on, as former residents move into new homes and start the process of rebuilding their lives, we continue to assess the support we are offering. 

Before the fire we were very busy supporting young people across North Kensington and we know that there is much to be done for and with the young people of this area. Therefore, we will begin to shift our focus back to our core mission of supporting the most vulnerable children and young people from the community. We will do this by reviewing and developing our services with our community to ensure we are offering the best opportunities and the right amount of support for the young people in our local area.

Below, you will find a summary of the £16 million in financial aid distributed by Rugby Portobello Trust to the families and individuals impacted by the fire, as well as opportunities for everyone to come together over the next week to mark the anniversary of the fire.

We must never forget what happened at Grenfell Tower, and we will never forget the level of compassion shown following the horrific tragedy one year ago. As we did then, we do now a year on: we stand in solidarity with those who lost so much with steely determination, that the lives lost will not be in vain, that justice, truth and answers will be sought and found. We want the lessons of Grenfell to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again. As we have been since 1886, we will go on supporting the people of North Kensington; it’s our community and we’re proud to be part of it.


CLICK HERE to download the Grenfell Anniversary Factsheet.


Grenfell memorial events

Organisations across North Kensington and beyond are holding special events to remember the people we have lost and celebrate the incredible community spirit that was shown in the hours, days and weeks after the fire.

Banners have started going up on the tower, at the request of the bereaved and survivors, and will be a mix of green hearts and ‘Grenfell Forever in Our Hearts’ messages.

Here are some of the memorial events happening locally:

Evening Vigil

Monday 11 June
7.30pm - 8.30pm
The Parish of St Clement and St James, W11 4BP
A simple vigil, following the pattern of last year, for one hour from 7.30 pm, as we begin the journey through the Grenfell anniversary week.

Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala

Wednesday 13 June
6.30pm - 10.30pm
Opera Holland Park, W8 6LU
Tickets: £100-£125

The Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala will mark the one year anniversary of the fire and remember those lost and affected by this tragic event. The evening will feature full scenes from OHP’s productions of La traviata and Cosi fan tutte, performances of classic arias by guests from across the operatic world and an original composition by Will Todd, performed by a community choir led by Gareth Malone. Funds raised will support the Rugby Portobello Trust’s North Kensington community programmes.

Limited tickets are available via Opera Holland Park’s Box Office:

24-Hour Vigil

Wednesday 13 June to Thursday 14 June
6pm, 13 June to 6pm, 14 June

The Parish of St Clement and St James, W11 4BP
We mark the first anniversary of the Grenfell fire, with a vigil at St Clement, from 6pm on the evening before the fire began. Prayers will be said at 1.30am. The vigil continues throughout 14 June, concluding with a Eucharist at 5pm (principal celebrant Bishop Graham Tomlin; preacher the Revd Mike Long).

Nationwide One-Minute Silence

Thursday, 14 June
At 12pm on 14 June, the nation is asked to come together for one-minute of silence to remember those who were lost.

Silent Walk

Thursday 14 June
Maxilla Hall Social Club, W10 6NQ

The silent walk has been taking place on the 14th of every month since the fire, and 14 June 2018 will mark the one year anniversary. Walkers will gather from 5.30pm, with the walk commencing at 7pm. A candle-lit vigil will take place before the walk. Those wishing to take part can meet at RPT at 6.30pm and we will join the walk together, or meet at Maxilla at 7pm (or earlier) for the start of the walk.

Green for Grenfell

Friday 15 June
School children and community groups across Britain are being asked to mark the first anniversary of the country’s worst post-war fire by wearing ‘Green for Grenfell’ and helping a local cause or project of their choice. Campaigners want children and community groups to mirror the solidarity and generosity that sprang up in the aftermath of the fire and are asking communities across the UK to come together on a project of their choosing, such as painting a community centre, planting days in communal gardens or fundraising activities where funds raised can be reinvested into your local community/project.

Community Together for Grenfell

Saturday 16 June
Avondale Park, W11 4PN

Join us for a community day in the park to come together and show support for those who have been affected by the fire. The day will include sport, arts and crafts, t-shirt painting, face painting, inflatables, mini tournaments, BBQ, fun fair roundabouts, trampolines, universal board games and lots more for families and children of all ages.

Rally 4 Grenfell

Tennis festival

Tuesday 19 June
Westway Sports and Fitness Club, W10 5XL
Auction: until 21 July

Rally 4 Grenfell is a fundraising campaign to give vital support to people left injured, bereaved or homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire. Part of the campaign includes a schools’ tennis festival on 19 June, as well as an online auction organised by Everyone Active. The auction will run until 21 July and will raise funds for the British Red Cross’s London Fire Relief