Grenfell Group Shine A Spotlight On 'Unsafe' Towers Blocks Two Years After Deadly Fire
Friday marks two years since the Grenfell Tower disaster which saw 72 people lose their lives in the north west London tower block fire.
The fire was started by a malfunctioning fridge-freezer on the fourth floor, but spread rapidly when it set light to the flammable exterior cladding of the apartment block.
Following the disaster, the government eventually pledged to £400 million towards fixing the dangerous social housing, yet to this day only a fraction of the 311 flat blocks requiring assessment across the UK have been made safe.
Now, two years to the day, Grenfell United officials are sending a direct message to the Government to demand change to make high rise towers safe across the UK.
The organisation's #DemandChange campaign saw enormous messages projected onto blocks in Manchester, Newcastle and London to shine a spotlight on fire safety issues that they say still exist.
Each message highlighted a genuine fire safety concern with the block, directly relating to the residents that live in it.
"Two years after the Grenfell and the fire doors in this building still aren't fit for purpose," read the message projected onto Cruddas Park House in Newcastle, a 25 storey block for over 50s.
"Two years after the Grenfell this building is still covered in dangerous cladding," said the message illuminated on Manchester's NV Building. According to the group, the building has 246 flats and is clad in dangerous HPL cladding that isn't covered by the government removal fund.
"Two years after the Grenfell, this building still has no sprinklers," was the message shone on Frinstead House, the 20-storey tower block located meters away from Grenfell Tower on the Silchester Estate in London.
Natasha Elcock, Chair of Grenfell United and a survivor from the tower, said of the campaign: "We needed to send a strong message. It's been two years since Grenfell and people are still going to bed at night worried that a fire like Grenfell could happen to them.
"After the fire we were promised that blocks would be made safe. Two years later we cannot wait any longer, we need action now so everyone is safe in their homes."
Karim Mussilhy, vice-chair of Grenfell United, who lost his uncle in the fire, said: "Our message to the government is simple but we needed the biggest possible platform to make them listen.
"Last week I visited residents in Newcastle and I heard how they were raising concerns but being ignored. That's what happened to residents in Grenfell before the fire. We have to change the culture in social housing so people are treated with respect.
"By raising our voices together and uniting blocks across the country, we cannot be ignored. We are so proud to stand alongside residents in Newcastle and Manchester who have been campaigning to be heard. Two year after Grenfell we are coming together and our voices can only get louder."
Grenfell United are calling for people to sign up at https://support.grenfellunited.org to #DemandChange and write to their MPs to make tower blocks safe.
Featured Image Credit: Grenfell United