North Kensington Law Centre has been assisting survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster to help them get their lives back in order.
The Law Centre, located at Baseline Studios next door to the tower, has immediately kicked into action to support its local community, many of whom were already current or past clients.
Thanks to numerous offers of help from the wider legal community, the Law Centre's work is now augmented by pro bono volunteers from other Law Centres, legal advice charities and law firms, enabling it to help as many survivors as need it. Any local resident affected by the disaster is welcome to the Law Centre's daily drop-in legal advice clinic.
Being a not-for-profit organisation, the Law Centre has also set up an online appeal for donations, which would support it in offering legal assistance above and beyond what its current funding streams allow. At the time of publishing this item, the Law Centre has raised an impressive £39,000 of its £100,000 target.
The Law Centre has held a residents meeting for all those affected by the fire, to explain how legal assistance can help them and discuss what more could be done. They are keen to make it easier for victims to access help despite, for example, their unresolved or irregular immigration status.
NKLC's director, Victoria Vasey, has also written to the Home Secretary, Amber Rudd MP, specifying just what ministers could do to help support survivors of the disaster. Steps at the Home Secretary's discretion include adopting a lenient approach to applications, appointing a named UK Visas and Immigration contact for victims, and helping victims replace documents lost in the fire.
- Law Centre director Victoria talks to the Guardian about ongoing problems for survivors three weeks on from the fire (4 July)
- Law Centre director Victoria talks to BBC Radio 4's World At One about challenges that the victims and the Law Centre face (20 June)
- LCN's director of policy blogs for the London Metro on how the Law Centre can help survivors and how people can seek legal assistance if concerned about their building (16 June)