Community leaders in call over how money for Grenfell victims will be spent

Grenfell community leaders have demanded to know how money collected for victims of the blaze will be distributed.

Several millions of pounds in donations have been collected by charities and other groups in the four weeks since the tragedy.

Grenfell resident Yvonne Harris said money "has been raised in all directions" but that victims have not been consulted on how it will be spent.

She spoke at a meeting of community leaders, volunteers and residents at Acklam Village on Friday.

"Where is this money? Who gives them the authority on how to share it out?" she added.

"They haven't consulted us. We should have the say in how it's distributed, that money should be split between 129 flats.

"People have donated generously and we appreciate that - but where is this money that's been raised in the name of Grenfell Tower?

"Who has it and what are they doing with it?"

Huey Walker, of Venture Community Centre, called for information about who is deciding how funds are distributed.

"There are hundreds of different fundraising pages, lots of the big charities are also raising funds," he added.

"Who is making those decisions and how involved are the residents of the tower and wider estate?

"How involved is the community in what's happening to those funds?"

Volunteer Eartha Pond said she has raised more than £77,000 on a GoFundMe page, all of which will go directly to victims.

"That's only going to be drop in the ocean of what these people need, no amount is enough," she said.

"I'm working directly with people, I'm in contact with the families and victims and it will go directly to them."

Volunteers also criticised the council for its lack of support after the fire on June 14, which claimed the lives of more than 80.

Micah Frizzle, of Harrow Youth Club, said: "We're still wondering where the council are, we're four weeks down the line and there's nothing.

"It's us looking after our own again."

Niles Hailstones, chairman of community action group Westway23, praised residents for leading relief efforts.

He said: "Since that night of the fire a community has come together on an unprecedented level, an historic level.

"We have been working since the night of the fire, a lot of us have been out there breathing in the smoke.

"Donations were being left on the streets and we didn't feel that was right."

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