Hammersmith Town Hall and our estates closest to Grenfell Tower went ‘green’ as a mark of remembrance, compassion and solidarity on the anniversary of the devastating fire.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council and local community arts organisation BrownBaby worked together with Charecroft TRA and Edward Woods initiative to remember those who lost their lives in north Kensington by illuminating the town hall last Wednesday (14 June).
Three tower blocks on the Edward Woods Estate and four tower blocks on the Charecroft Estate were illuminated with green lighting for three nights from 00.54 starting on 14 June.
Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of H&F Council, said: “The Grenfell Tower fire was a devastating tragedy. And the remains of the tower remind us every day that compassion and respect for all human life is fundamental.
“In going Green For Grenfell we showed that we stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone who has suffered as a result of this tragedy.”
The green lights were intended to mark the moment the fire started at Grenfell Tower, and the three days it continued.
H&F Council also held a minute’s silence to remember the victims. The Grenfell flag flew at Hammersmith Town Hall during the period of remembrance.
On 14 June the Charecroft TRA held a drop-in gathering at their hall, and members of the housing team ran a surgery session during the day on Edward Woods Estate.
Kim Dero, Chief Executive of H&F Council, said: “Our staff and residents came together in Hammersmith & Fulham to support those affected by the Grenfell tragedy and supporting Green For Grenfell was a heartfelt way to show we care.”
Brownbaby was founded by Shepherds Bush-born artist Toby Laurent Belson. Toby, who went to St Peters Primary School in Hammersmith, worked with the local community and performers at last summer’s Notting Hill Carnival to encourage revellers to wear green in support of the victims of the Grenfell fire.
Trellick Tower in Ladbroke Grove was also lit up green during the carnival. So Toby has campaigned to win support to light up more estates on the anniversary of the tragedy.
“Across London, it’s important that everyone living in social housing feels a sense of togetherness and solidarity,” Toby said.
“After all the talking and politics around the tragedy, I hope this simple gesture of support will be like getting a hug that helps you get through a hard day.”
The colour green began to be associated with Grenfell after some local schools began to use the hashtag ‘Green For Grenfell’ on social media. From there Toby and his fellow artists felt the colour green was associated with renewal and healing – and decided it was the right colour to light up the estates in.
Toby added: “The council’s decision to light up the town hall green was very symbolic. It showed a great level of support for the community. We hope to brought everyone together after a defining moment in British history.”
It formed part of the community artwork which Toby has been involved in for the past 16 years. He recently held an exhibition of collages – called Women of Colour – at Shepherds Bush Library, which included tennis star Serena Williams and singer Erykah Badu.
Following the fire, H&F Council supported more than 50 families in temporary accommodation in the borough.
Teams from the housing and social care departments visited the families each week, making sure they had vouchers for hot meals, travel cards and that they were receiving the support they needed – and in some cases family members, friends and neighbours.
Today, we continue to provide support for the families who have not been permanently re-housed.
There is more information about how to access support services if you have been affected by the Grenfell fire here.
Blocks go green
The three tower blocks on the Edward Woods Estate which were turned green were: Stebbing House, Norland House, and Poynter House. The four tower blocks on the Charecroft Estate turned green were: Shepherds Court, Roseford Court, Woodford Court, and Bush Court.
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