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“Without you we would have been lost”— Grenfell resident at opening of Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service

13 September 2018

(Photo: Members of the community at the event)

Les Ferdinand writes heartfelt note—“Everyone needs assistance sometimes, so I hope that you will talk to someone because it really helps”

Over 200 hundred people—members of the Grenfell Tower community, stakeholders and healthcare professionals from the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service held a minute’s silence at the formal opening of the centre in Kensington yesterday.

The centre which is located on the grounds of St Charles Hospital had undergone a redesign, prominently featuring the Grenfell green and stencilled paintings with residents in mind.

"Hamid" a service user, spoke at the open evening

‘Hamid’, a resident who has used the service, thanked The Space on Freston Road, the community and CNWL Trust, which leads the Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service.

“Thank you for what you have done for us. Without you we would have been lost,” he said.

Shahin Sadafi, Chair of Grenfell United, echoed gratitude, and spoke of working partnerships that have seen CNWL staff breaking away from policy to meet the needs of the community.

“What happened at Grenfell was unprecedented. This had never happened so no one was prepared. No procedure or policy was prepared for what happened.


QPR's Andy Sinton and Shahin Sadafi of Grenfell United cut the ribbon

“So it’s important for the NHS and I’m so grateful that they had the ability to acknowledge that it was time to scrap all of that procedure and policy and think about how they could engage with the community, go to the source and make sure they could find out how to help individuals to overcome what has happened and to provide them with the services necessary.

"I just want to thank everyone from the NHS and the local community that achieved this by coming together to create partnership and have an amazing place like this where we could feel that you’ve listened and you’ve made sure that you put our needs first before anything else. Thank you so much from Grenfell United.”

The theme of partnership emerged again and again during the evening.

Andy Sinton, QPR professional footballer was there with members of the club, which has been supporting the community since the fire. Earlier in the year they’d organised a celebrity match to fundraise for the community.

“QPR in the immediate aftermath said we would stand shoulder to shoulder with the community. I think we have done, we will do and we will continue to do so. I know it’s going to be a long long journey with small steps but what’s been done so far has been amazing.

‘Talk to someone’ - Les

A cross section of the crowd at the opening

Les Ferdinand, QPR professional footballer who grew up on the estate, had been scheduled to speak and cut the ribbon formally opening the centre, but was unable to attend due to work commitments. He left a heartfelt note which Andy read to the community. 

“Hello everyone! Sorry that my day job has taken me away so I have to send my apologies; but I am with you in spirit – alongside the community. I was honoured to be asked to cut the ribbon tonight – thank you - and I accepted because I wanted to show my support for the NHS Grenfell Team and to remind everyone that support is available. Everyone needs assistance sometimes, so I hope that you will talk to someone because it really helps. My best wishes, Les Ferdinand. ”
Robyn Doran, Chief Operating Officer of CNWL said the service would continue to work with the community to meet its needs.

"I want to thank the community, because you've been with us, you've challenged us, you've told us when we've got it wrong, you've tolerated when we've got it wrong, you've listened to us, we've listened to you, we've cried together, we've laughed together, we've walked alongside each other and actually we continue to work together."

"We believe we are one of the largest trauma services in the country and we are aware that both national and international eyes are on us trying to learn from us as we have tried to learn from others in other disasters that have gone before us."

She said the month of October would be particularly hard for the community as the public inquiry continued, but that the Trust would provide the necessary support to the community.

Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service staff at the event