28 June 2017
The British Red Cross is helping to turn excess clothes donated for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire into cash, by selling them in its high-street shops.
‘Shop for Grenfell’ will see every penny raised from the sale of donated items in Red Cross stores go directly to help those affected by the fire.
Money raised will go to the charity’s London Fire Relief Fund, which has so far raised over £3.2 million.
The charity has been on the ground since the immediate aftermath of the fire, providing practical and emotional support to victims and helping to coordinate the running of the Grenfell Community Assistance Centre.
Thanks to the generosity of the local community, there are now enough excess donations to fill around 40,000 boxes – the equivalent of three football pitches.
The Grenfell community will continue to receive everything it needs from the donations, but excess clothes will now be distributed to sell across the country.
British Red Cross chief executive, Mike Adamson, said: “We have seen an incredible outpouring of donations for the people affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
“Over the past week we have taken stock of the scale of the donations and listened to what people think we should do with the excess clothes.
“‘Shop for Grenfell’ offers everyone an opportunity to make a difference, either through the items they have already donated or by shopping in one of our many shops across the UK.
“The goods will be converted into cash to help people who have been left bereaved, injured or homeless as a result of the fire. Every penny will go to those people.”
The best new clothes will be sent to affected families to choose from; other items will be sold through Red Cross shops with every penny raised going into the London Fire Relief Fund.
Any unsaleable items will be sold for recycling and the profits from this will go to the fund.
Working with community groups
The Red Cross is today setting up an operation to sort and distribute the clothes, which will then be taken to shops across the UK.
Clothing will be labelled ‘Shop for Grenfell’. All money raised from the sale of these items will go to the fund to help people affected by the fire.
The plan is being backed by local community groups, including Notting Hill Methodist Church and Rugby Portobello Trust, who have committed to sending their surplus donations to the Red Cross to distribute and sell.
The Red Cross will be working with our partners in the local community to recruit volunteers to help with the job.
The task of transporting the huge volumes of donations to the warehouse for safe storage was coordinated by Kensington and Chelsea council with help from M&S, Westfield and The Entertainer.
The British Red Cross will be leaning on its experience of coordinating similar retail fundraisers after the Nepal earthquake and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.