Grenfell Tower fire: Public donate food and clothes to evacuated residents

The public have sprung into action to donate food and clothes to those who managed to escape the Grenfell Tower fire.

A blaze ripped through the 24-storey residential block in west London in the early hours of Wednesday, and a number of people have lost their lives.

The Metropolitan Police have said that six people are confirmed dead but that they expect that figure to rise.

Those who did escape are being sheltered by community centres, charities and churches in the area.

The public has gathered supplies for residents (Picture: Rex)

The public have donated provisions to evacuated residents who have been left with nothing after their possessions were left behind in the fire.

MORE: Deadly fire tears through West London tower block
MORE: Huge flames and smoke billows from Grenfell Tower after massive blaze

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said there was a rest centre at Harrow Centre, Freston Road, while nearby St Clements Church was collecting clothes, food and water for those affected – many of whom had been forced to escape the building in their night clothes.

Labour MP for Tottenham, David Lammy, asked people on Twitter to donate provisions to the church.

A Just Giving page has been set up for those affected by the blaze and has raised more than £25,000.

A youth and children’s charity based near the block of flats has also stepped in and offered help.

The Rugby Portobello Trust said they are ‘with many of the residents’ and have asked people to ‘hold off on dropping anything to RPT until we can put together a list of what is needed’.

Smoke billowed from the Grenfell Tower on Wednesday morning (Picture: PA)

Former England rugby player Will Greenwood had urged the public to send emergency provisions to the trust, at 221 Walmer Road, London, W11 4EY.

The group also set up a Facebook event, urging people able to offer space in their homes to come forward.

The British Red Cross said its volunteers were also at the scene, with volunteers providing practical help and emotional support at a rest centre.

Meanwhile, a number of individuals have reached out via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to offer accommodation and transport help to those affected.

One woman, named Giselle, tweeted: ‘Just called [Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea] @RBKC and left my details. They are looking for emergency housing. I have offered my place. Do the same if you can #Grenfell’.

Instagram user co._lams posted an image reading: ‘Any residents of Grenfell Tower or Lancaster West Estate who need a local place to stay DM me.’

Many others posted on the Rugby Portobello Trust event with contact details for accommodation.

Phone company EE have said people are welcome to use their stores in the local area if they need to contact anyone or use social media.

They said the stores on Kensington High Street, Notting Hill, Queensway and the two in White City are closest to the incident.

The chairman of Queens Park Rangers said he was enquiring as to whether their Shepherd’s Bush stadium, Loftus Road, could also be used as a centre.

Tony Fernandes tweeted: ‘Our community team will be mobilised. We will do whatever.’

A QPR spokesman said: ‘We are in dialogue with Kensington & Chelsea Council to see if we can assist the relief effort.

The Grenfell Tower before the blaze (Picture: ITV News)

‘We have made suggestions as to how we can assist and are currently awaiting guidance.

‘We have suggested using Loftus Road as a relief centre for the emergency services and those affected, and also as a drop-off centre for clothes and provisions.’

A social club owner turned his building at the foot of Grenfell Tower into a hub for fleeing residents within an hour of the blaze starting.

Joe Walsh, 58, threw open the doors of his Maxilla club shortly before 2am when the scale of the disaster became apparent.

Inside, those who lived nearby huddled around a TV in the bar on Wednesday morning, anxiously asking after friends they had yet to hear from.

‘I got the call just before two o’clock and opened the club straight away,’ Mr Walsh told the Press Association.

‘My reaction was to just open up for people to have tea and coffee – there are hundreds of flats here and people with nowhere to go.’

Before long, displaced families began flocking to the bar, situated below a flyover on the A40.

Stocks and supplies soon followed, with supermarket Tesco promising to bring blankets and towels, along with other items.

By morning, tables were overflowing with bottles of water, food, sweets and clothing.
‘We have had people coming in and out, now people have started bringing clothes. We have had people here in just their pyjamas and their dressing gowns.’