- Created: Thursday, 26 April 2018 10:02
- Written by Carol Brickley and Charles Chinweizu
On 14 June 2017, millions of people, horrified by the sight of a 24-storey London block of flats ablaze with many occupants inside, rushed to deliver aid and donations to the victims of the Grenfell fire. Local agencies, community groups, churches and mosques were overwhelmed by the material aid delivered to the neighbourhood, and millions of pounds poured in. Basic human empathy had been awoken by this dreadful event: people wanted to help. Two months later, the Charity Commission announced that of the £18.9m collected for survivors, only £2.8m had reached them – less than 15% of the total raised. Only small amounts had been given to the survivors and as a group they had not been consulted about how the money would be spent. The Charity Commission, mindful of the effect of bad publicity on donations, stepped in to regulate the distribution of the money. Very rapidly the wholehearted public response was being transformed by very different values: how deserving of help were the victims?