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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Fears Grenfell charity cash isn’t reaching victims

This news post is about 7 years old

​Call for review into how large-scale fundraisers are organised and how funds are distributed

A leading aid charity is calling for a review of how large-scale fundraisers are handled in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Nearly £20 million has been raised for those affected by the fire however the British Red Cross is concerned the bulk of the cash remains unspent.

Part of the problem has been the number of charities involved in raising cash with no one body co-ordinating the response.

It means those eligible for support have to navigate a plethora of different applications from different sources meaning many potentially miss out on vital help.

Mark Astarita, the executive director of fundraising at the British Red Cross, said: “It creates barriers that individuals who are in the aftermath of such a traumatic event have to navigate.

“For this reason we believe there is now a need to review how fundraising works for large-scale emergencies in the UK to improve the process for allocating funds to people who need them whatever the context.”

The London Community Foundation has been distributing funds for Kensington and Chelsea Council as well as other sources. Its chief executive Russell Delew said he was concerned at the rate at which money was being distributed.

“It’s a huge responsibility for all the organisations involved to ensure transparency and show that we’re able to get funds to those so traumatically affected and to the local organisations helping to rebuild lives and the community in North Kensington,” he said.

Applications for grants need to be verified, which is a sensitive process in a community that has lost trust in officialdom.

“We are now beginning to receive applications via family liaison officers, but some people are just not ready to be assessed, and there may also be people who have fears about coming forward.

We’re moving at the pace that the people concerned are ready to move at,” an LET spokesperson said.