Update on response to Grenfell Tower fire Message from Epic's MD Brendan O'Keefe Epic’s mission statement states that we strive to make a positive difference in the community in which we work. Mission statements are easy to write but much harder to live up to. In the immediate aftermath of Grenfell fire tragedy, Epic staff demonstrated that our mission statement means what it says. The response from Epic staff was extraordinary. Our centres opened from early morning on the day the disaster unfolded. As soon as we opened, donations of food and clothing came flooding in. Epic staff, whether on duty or not, flocked to the scene to lend a hand. Our staff were present not only at Epic centres but at the Latymer Christian Centre, the Westway Centre, Malton Road Hub and elsewhere. Staff worked themselves to the point of exhaustion. At times it was overwhelming. At the end of the first day, we were having to close our doors to further donations. We worked closely alongside partner organisations such as Rugby Portobello Trust, the Harrow Club and the Westway Trust. In common with Epic, the staff of these organisations responded magnificently to the crisis. This shows the real worth of having well-established organisations with strong roots in the community. It also provides a strong challenge to anyone who thinks external contractors can be parachuted into communities and deliver to the same value. The response from the community was also extraordinary. Volunteers came from all over London to lend their support to our efforts. We were also extremely well supported by the local business community who provided donations as well as much needed refreshments for staff and volunteers, (see list of volunteers and businesses who supported the Epic CIC response). The following list shows some of the many that supported from our local area, a huge THANK YOU to: Tesco Express Cafe Nero Chicken Cottage Red Planet Pizza Fez Mangal Sainsbury's Local and Superstore Notting Hill CFC Hilton Kensington Lola's Cakes Bective Leslie Marsh Estate Agents Nisa Local Chana Chemist Chopsticks Grove Fish Bar West 9 Food and Wines Spivack Chemist Felix Project Notting Hill Preparatory School Flowered Corner (donated their van use for an hour in getting bedding to the refuge centres) Time donated from the local private schools helping to bring in and sort through donations So what next? The impact on North Kensington will be felt for years to come. We will work with like-minded local organisations to do all we can to support children and young people through the trauma both now and in the future. Our good friend's at John Lyon’s Charity have done an excellent job of pulling together funders to support community-based initiatives. Our ambition is to help children and young people to not only deal with the immediate aftermath but also to build a network to change for the better the prospects for young people in this community. How you can help: Donate If you would like to make a donation to the emergency appeal, we are asking everyone to do so via The Kensington and Chelsea Foundation If you would like to make a donation to Epic’s long-term services for local children, young people and families, please bear with us while we put the final touches to our new donation page. Volunteer If you would like to volunteer to help with the support effort with RBKC please register your interest by emailing Grenfellvolunteers@rbkc.gov.uk including your name, contact number and availability. Please also let them know if you have any specialist skills. Thank you for all your support For any other enquiries please email email@example.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Press/Coverage: Third Sector - Lessons in leadership from the Grenfell Tower tragedy Grenfell Tower Helplines Support for people affected by the Grenfell Tower Fire: 0800 0234 650 - Grenfell Tower NHS Single Point Access (Call if you are suffering psychological or mental distress, free call) 0808 808 1677 - Cruse Bereavement Care (Charity that offers support to children and adults when someone dies, whatever the circumstances) 0900 458 9472 - Red Cross 116 123 - Samaritans (free call even if you do not have credit) For other information please click here.