#GAME4GRENFELL, the community fundraising event held at Loftus Road on September 2nd in support of all those affected by the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, proved to be a glowing success – with the latest fundraising figure standing at a remarkable £454,124.67.
On a memorable day in West London, a near sell-out crowd witnessed #TeamFerdinand prevail 5-3 on penalties against #TeamShearer, with Olly Murs scoring the decisive spot-kick, after the game finished 2-2 in 90 minutes.
And in further good news, RBKC (the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea) have agreed to match the latest fundraising figure, taking the total to in excess of £908,000.
Funds raised from the game will be distributed to survivors through the London Community Foundation and the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund, and towards community projects.
QPR Co-Chairman Tony Fernandes, who alongside Director of Football Les Ferdinand and Columbia Records' Ferdy Unger-Hamilton came up with the idea of a #Game4Grenfell, told www.qpr.co.uk: “I am so proud of everyone involved.
“I’ve seen a lot in my time, but the way West London and the wider community united for a #Game4Grenfell will remain with me forever.
“The day itself is one I will never forget, and the fact we’ve managed to raise so much money, which will not only help the survivors but the wider community in general, makes it even more special.”
Ferdinand added: “A #Game4Grenfell will live long in the memories of everyone, not only those who came along to Loftus Road to watch the match, but also those who viewed the game live on their TV screens.
“To see so many survivors in the crowd made it a day to remember for everyone.
“As someone who grew up in the area affected by the fire, it didn’t surprise me in the slightest to see that special West London community spirit come to the fore, because I know that’s what West Londoners are all about.
“It showed that people care – and showed that we as a football club care.”
Marcus Mumford – lead singer of Mumford & Sons – who was a driving force behind a #Game4Grenfell and played an active role in the free summer football programme for the residents of Grenfell, said: “Our focus now is on creating a legacy – a legacy for Grenfell and the wider community.
“The money that has been raised for wider community projects will be key in driving this forward.”
Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, added: “I attended the match myself and the organisers of #Game4Grenfell did an incredible job.
“My personal thanks go to all those people who donated to this vital fund.”
QPR and QPR in the Community Trust, in partnership with social activist Shane Ryan, are in initial discussions regarding the establishment of a Children’s Trust in North Kensington, which would sit alongside a Young Kensington Foundation.
Whilst dialogue remains ongoing at this stage, in principle the Trust would be in a position to offer some one-off seed funding for local creatives and entrepreneurs under the age of 25, as well as providing necessary funding of school holiday programmes and after school and weekend activities all year round in the future for local children.
This is an opportunity to provide a longer term legacy of support far beyond the crisis intervention currently available to the area.
QPR in the Community Trust CEO, Andy Evans, added: “This summer saw an increase in summer provision for young people in North Kensington, with increased funding available and huge benefits to physical and emotional wellbeing.
“But we are very much aware that this funding is due to the current circumstances and may not exist for future years and younger generations to the same levels.
“Nevertheless, the need will not disappear, which is why we want to help make a difference.”
He added: “It is vitally important that the local community can influence and shape the type of community programmes they want to see for the youth of North Kensington.
“It is also of paramount importance that we continue to support this community in the coming years as it recovers from this tragedy and use football and sport to help young people fulfil their potential.”
Further details regarding the Children’s Trust will be announced in due course.