The ClementJames Centre is situated in Sirdar Road, adjacent to Grenfell Tower, and many of our centre users were directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. Because of its long history of community service over several decades, local people instinctively identified The ClementJames Centre as a place where they could find practical and compassionate care.
On the morning of the disaster and in the days following, ClementJames, supported by our partner organisations, the parish of St Clement & St James and IntoUniversity Head Office, provided crisis support to those who were made homeless: collecting and distributing clothing, food, water, mobile phones, emergency funds and other essentials.
In the weeks after the fire we continued to distribute emergency cash and physical donations. As importantly, we created a safe space for survivors and local displaced residents to gather, and offered comfort and reassurance. In addition, the centre provided advice and guidance, disseminating the latest information, and made available prayer spaces and spaces for grieving relatives.
Since then, we have resumed our day-to-day operations whilst still providing support to those directly affected. This includes emotional and wellbeing support, assistance liaising with the council and other relevant services, assistance with grant applications, and trips, events and activities for affected families. Overall, ClementJames has supported over 200 affected households to date.
The consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire are immense not only for those directly affected but also for the wider Lancaster West Estate and North Kensington community. We are committed to serving this community. In their hour of need, the centre was there to provide the immediate needs of the refugees of the fire. In the coming years, ClementJames will remain a place of care and service.