Malcolm's Story

When we entered the area after the fire, the initial role of our team was to sit and listen: to survivors, to the bereaved and to the traumatised. As we began to speak with the residents, I began to see the community come together in churches, art centres and libraries to grieve.

Everything changes following a trauma like Grenfell Tower. We assembled our outreach teams and took the support to the people.

From day one, our support in Grenfell has been shaped by the people we support. We established a Recovery Café to provide a safe space for people to sit, talk and get support. After hearing about worrying numbers of people unable to sleep and walking around close to the tower during the night, we also set up an overnight mental health support service, which ran from 10pm through to 8am.

For the people living in temporary hotel accommodation, we arranged for counsellors to support them through their trauma. We met families experiencing shock, depression, bereavement and fear caused by the fire itself.

18 months since the fire, our work continues to be shaped by the needs of the community. We now support first responders and counsellors who came in immediately after the fire.

We also are now helping residents to set up new community groups and build links with likeminded groups for meeting spaces, advice and recruitment.

The tragedy will affect the whole community for generations. Yet it is positive to see the healing process has started, and we are so proud to be there for them to help with their recovery.

Learn more about Hestia's Grenfell response and Mental Health & Complex Needs services.

Read Hestia's 2017/2018 Annual Review.