UK

London Fire: More Acts Of Kindness Emerge After Grenfell Tower Tragedy

HuffPost UK has spoken to some of the capital's amazingly generous residents.

15/06/2017 13:07 BST | Updated 15/06/2017 14:59 BST

There has been an incredible outpouring of kindness following the Grenfell Fire tragedy, with stories of even more selfless acts emerging on Thursday.

The capital is in shock following the incident, in which at least 17 people were killed, and many more injured.

Police have warned that the death toll is expected to rise

EMPICS Entertainment
Volunteers sort through clothes donated to help the people affected

But amid the stories of horror, hundreds of residents and businesses have come together to provide help to those in need.

This man closed his restaurant so he could cook for those affected

Hundreds of people have been volunteering their help

Harris Iqbal, head of programmes, at Muslim charity Penny Appeal, told HuffPost UK the number of volunteers offering to help is “in the hundreds”. He said “we are not turning volunteers away”. Examples of volunteer duties include sorting through stock, manning the reception, manning the food stations.

Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Mountains of food and clothing donated to the many people who have lost everything

He added: “All of these donations are going to be used by those in need. These are families that are going to move into temporary accommodation so all of this is needed. A lot of people came out in their pyjamas so they have nothing. So right now a pillow, a blanket, nappies and toothpaste is a luxury at the moment. All of these items are so necessary.”

When asked what the logistics of distributing the donations in the long term will be, Iqbal said that “at the moment we a dealing we the now then we’ll starting thinking about the longer term”. He said that items have been split into sections, so there’s a “food corner, a clothing corner”.

In fact, the sheer volume of donations has been so big that many places have said they do not need any more

Pictures from local relief efforts have shown huge stacks of donated clothes, food and other essentials.

This lawyer offering free legal advice

Businesses have continued to do their bit

HuffPost UK has been told that Marks and Spencer sent £120,000 worth of items including clothing, towels and bedding to those in need.

They also said that they realised one of the most pressing needs at the relief centres was how to keep perishable products from going bad.

In response, they sent down one of their refrigerated lorries to help keep food fresh.

Ann Horn
Marks and Spencer sent provisions to help those affected, as well as a refrigerated lorry

 

More than £1.6 million has been donated to help those affected

Britons know how to dig deep to help others in a time of crisis.

A number of crowdfunding campaigns have been set up and the money has come pouring in, including:

People have been showing their appreciation for the fire services

A number of touching gestures were made by Londoners to show how much they appreciate those who risked their lives to try to help.

This student housing provider made sure their empty student flats didn’t go to waste

 

Celebrities have been quietly visiting the scene to comfort people affected

A post shared by FourMee (@fourmee) on

Adele was reportedly spotted speaking to people in the early hours of Thursday morning (15 June) “asking if anyone needs help” at the scene, and “going around and hugging everyone she could to comfort them”, according to fan account Adele Union.

Rita Ora also documented on her Instagram account story that she was visiting a relief centre to donate and help sort clothes.

Rita Ora

Singer Lily Allen, who lives close to the tower, also wrote on Twitter that she was opening up her home in a bid to help the Grenfell Tower residents, assuring them: If anyone needs a bed or a lift, or tea, tweet me and I’ll follow back.”

Other celebrities including Fearne Cotton and Jeremy Clarkson also shared their sympathies with the residents of the tower, while a number of online fundraising campaigns for the victims have already resulted in thousands of pounds worth of donations.

Fire fighters have said they don’t expect to find any more survivors from the Grenfell Tower fire, amid fears that the death toll could “rise to more than a hundred”.

PA Wire/PA Images
The scorched remains of Grenfell Tower on Thursday morning

One local council insider told HuffPost UK that the emergency services now estimate that more than a hundred people will be declared dead.

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton said on Thursday that there are still “unknown numbers” of people inside the tower, but rescuers do not expect to find anyone else alive. 

NHS England said on Thursday that 34 people remain in hospital, including 18 who are in critical care.

Read the latest updates on our live blog here