Over £1 Million Has Been Raised For The Grenfell Tower Victims By A Single JustGiving Page
A huge pile of tens of thousands of donations outside one local community church has been described as a "mountain of love".
In less than 48 hours a crowdfunding page has raised more than £1 million to help the victims of Wednesday morning's fire at Grenfell Tower in west London, which has left at least 30 people dead.
The JustGiving page was created by Haley Yearwood, a teacher and director of learning for students in year 8 at Kensington Aldridge Academy. After watching the events unfold on the news she said she wanted to make sure the residents who had lost their rooms were cared for.
"As I watched the news at 5 o’clock in the morning, I just wanted to make sure residents affected were well cared for after the tragedy," Yearwood said in a statement.
As well as raising money, the west London community and people from around the UK have come together in a variety of ways to help people who lost their homes in the fire. Outside Latymer Community Church, close to Grenfell Tower, there were tens of thousands of donations. One of the senior volunteers described the pile of donations as a "mountain of love".
Asma Amla, a volunteer for the charity Muslim Aid, spoke to BuzzFeed News about the work they were doing on the ground. Alongside food, drink, and housing for those under 25, she said, many people just need comfort and support.
"Muslim Aid are on the ground to make an assessment about what people need here. There's a lot of need for food, blankets, etc," she said.
"What people need at this time is comfort, there are lots of people who are still missing family members and friends. So what they need is comfort, they need people to be there, and tell them that everything is going to be OK."
Amy Charles, from Maida Vale, told BuzzFeed News that west London has always been a close-knit community, and she was offering spare rooms to those who need it.
"Some people are giving out clothes, mone,y and even accommodation. It doesn't matter whatever it is, food, toys, everyone is just gathering together and taking it down," she said.
"We can't help the sick and we can't help the dead, but people have come together in different ways."
A statement released on Kensington Aldridge Academy's website this morning said that the tragic events at Grenfell Tower had impacted the whole community: "Our thoughts are with all of those who have suffered loss or have been affected in any way at all."
A spokesperson for the school told BuzzFeed News that it is "definitely not a normal school day" – counsellors will be on the school's premises providing support to students and assemblies will take place all day.
The statement continued: "The school’s priority must be our students and staff, all of whom have been affected in one way or another by this devastating event. Today we are holding assemblies for all our students to explain the support the school has made available for them and how they can access it".
The school's principal David Benson said staff are already working incredibly hard within the community. "Funds raised via this JustGiving page, set up by Haley Yearwood, will continue to provide support to the local community in the difficult months and years to come," he said.