Summary
A review of the voluntary sector contribution in response to the Grenfell Tower fire, with key lessons to be learned.

Key Points:

  • Tailoring responses to local realities:
    • Key local actors must be identified at the outset of a response to enable them to play complementary roles to other organisations in the sector and to work effectively with affected communities and local authorities.
    • Diverse communities require diverse agencies that are able to support demands driven by diversity.
    • The specific needs and sensitivities of Muslim communities need to be understood and reflected across mainstream organisations, and partnerships built across the sector to facilitate this.
    • Understanding of the nexus between emergencies and deprivation and marginalisation should inform the thinking and capacities of the sector for future response.
    • It is essential that advocacy features prominently and deliberately in the work of voluntary sector organisations, both a local and national levels.
  • Co-ordination around a critical incident:
    • There is a need for flexibility to foster effective voluntary sector collaboration at local levels
    • The London Resilience Form needs to be strengthened to reflect the diversity of contemporary London.
    • More needs to be done to enhance the collaboration between voluntary and faith-based organisations.
  • Developing preparedness and response capacities:
    • Cash grants in emergencies need to be flexible and cost effective.
    • The amount of in-kind donations to disasters should be controlled and managed to limit unnecessary donation burden, rather public donations should be encouraged to be in cash.
    • There is a need to generate and effectively manage funds to allow voluntary organisations to play a full role in supporting the complex needs of people in affected areas over a longer time period.
    • The voluntary sector should look to ways of supporting preparedness initiatives of local secular and faith-based actors.