Evening Standard fundraising appeal for London tower fire victims reaches £850,000

An Evening Standard appeal raising funds for those affected by the devastating London tower block blaze has reached £850,000 within 24 hours of being set up.

The appeal was launched yesterday through the paper’s Dispossessed Fund as police put the death toll from the disaster at 12 and firefighters continued to battle flames at Grenfell Tower in Notting Hill.

The total figure includes a donation from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as well as thousands of contributions from Londoners and firms in the city.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said the royals had been “pleased” that the Standard’s fund had “immediately swung into action”: adding: “As residents of the local area they are keen to offer their immediate support.”

Standard editor George Osborne told Press Gazette: “Coming out of my home early yesterday morning, I saw the tower burning. It was an awful sight. Now  London is united in grief – and united in its generosity.

“Here at the Evening Standard we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the appeal we launched yesterday to help the Grenfell Tower residents in their hour of need.

“From the royal family to businesses to thousands of Londoners, people have come together to support our Dispossessed Fund and help the victims of this terrible tragedy.”

Funds raised by the paper will be distributed to victims in need of support by The London Community Foundation.

The appeal is running across two locations after it was first launched on the Standard’s own Dispossessed Fund website and then additionally on fundraising website Just Giving.

Evening Standard managing editor Doug Wills said: “Once the awful devastation and human cost was obvious, we launched an immediate appeal through our Dispossessed Fund and it was live by 11am [on Wednesday].

“Donations started pouring in immediately. These have continued overnight, literally every second. This morning donations through the Dispossessed Fund website alone rose by £75,000 from 30,000 donations.”

Wills added that the Standard’s front page picture, taken by staff photographer Jeremy Selwyn, had helped move people to donate to the cause. (Selwyn has spoken to Press Gazette about taking the picture).

He said of the image, which has been used across the media in coverage of the tragedy: “It was an emotional, striking, iconic and awful picture that undoubtedly has affected people and that in itself has led to a lot of people donating and that continues to grow.”

Also raising money for those affected by the blaze is Trinity Mirror website Get West London, whose news patch includes the area where the fire took hold.

It has so far raised more than £17,000 of its £20,000 target within 24 hours, upping its target from £5,000 after breaking in within a few hours.

Its fundraising page reads: “Although we’ll never be able to replace their loved ones, memories and homes, we can help them rebuild. We can show them that there’s a whole country of people willing to support them as best as we can.”

A fundraising page set up by the Manchester Evening News to support the families of those killed or injured in the bombing at a concert venue in the city last month has raised more than £2.4m.

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