This Should Never Have Happened

On Wednesday we witnessed the biggest tragedy our community has ever seen. We do not yet know the details of all those who died but their number is more than they should have.

Outside the Westway, and inside the churches and mosque, families were in a state of despair at such a catastrophic event. As the day went on, the mood turned to anger that the fire was allowed to happen. It seemed so preventable.

Thousands of people showed up with donations of food, clothing and toiletries, while hundreds gave up their time to help. This embrace of love and kindness is the best side of tragedy. We were overwhelmed by everyone's response, you have been amazing in this time of crisis.

Yet across Kensington we feel raw. Those who have lost loved ones deserve answers. They tell us they were awoken by the smell of smoke, not by any fire alarm.

We will come together and help people get through this, as well as think about how we provide long-term support for those who have to rebuild their lives.

Members of our local party have been working in centres across the area. We have been helping people who have been moved into emergency accommodation, working with other volunteers to try and coordinate efforts in the face of a council that is ill equipped, utterly ill prepared and disorganised. We have been talking to the press to encourage that the issues that we are facing here are kept at the forefront - ES, FT, and Guardian. If you would like to help please get in touch.

Ed Davey MP and Caroline Pidgeon AM visited today and were shown the extent of the grief, the anger but also the community that has come together.

Tomorrow there will be a minute's silence at 11 am. At 3 pm there will also be Salat al-Gha'ib for those who have passed away, at Latimer station insha'Allah. Join us tomorrow evening at 7 pm at the vigil in Parliament Square. We hope that these events will help us mourn those we have lost, and take stock of this terrible tragedy and the thousands affected.

Physical donations are no longer needed. We've been advised to donate to The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation. There is also The Big Give who are currently match-funding every donation.

Thank you,

Linda Wade, Andrew Lomas, Annabel Mullin and Giso van Loon


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