I’ve been in a bad mood all day. I’ve struggled to concentrate. I just haven’t been feeling it. Today, 14th June 2018, marks a year since the gut-wrenching tragedy of Grenfell Tower, and it makes my blood boil.
No matter how hard I try, I will never truly understand the pain of those affected by the fire that claimed the lives of 72 people, and left many more homeless, a year ago today. I simply cannot relate to the feelings of grief, sorrow and abandonment of the 70 families that withstood this horror, and yet have still not been permanently housed. I am absolutely incapable of wrapping my head around how on earth, in 2017, in one of the wealthiest cities in the world, this could happen.
It is appalling that the concerns voiced by the people of Grenfell Tower before this disaster, fell on deaf ears. It is disgusting that these people’s lives were of less value to authorities than cladding – potentially life saving cladding.
Because of their social status, these people were overlooked. And here we are, a year on, faced with an agonising reminder of what can happen when we ignore those less fortunate. For me, it’s personal. In that tower could have been some of my family members, my friends could have been there, I could have been there; we were just lucky, and the recent regrets of government figureheads are unfortunately too little too late – just another illustration of how out of touch they are.
And as an agency born out of a project co-created with young people living on West London’s Latimer Road, the pain in the office runs deep.
Yet still, after a year of hurting, the power of community stands stronger than ever. People opening their doors to those in need, travelling from far and wide to make donations, raising funds, marching and more – my heart has been filled by the power of our community. People of all ages, races, religions and sexualities have come together in support of those affected.
It’s a reminder to us all of how much we are capable of when we put our differences aside and band together, and that it is the power of community that will ensure there is Justice for Grenfell.
Written by Jessica Baah-Achamfour, Marketing Manager at Latimer.