Grenfell victims to get £42m in payments and help

Victims of the Grenfell Tower fire are set to receive £42m in direct payments and wellbeing support until 2028.

Kensington and Chelsea borough council’s leadership team have voted to approve the final model of the Future Grenfell Support package.

It will aim to provide financial relief and services to survivors and the immediate community around Grenfell Tower.

However, Kimia Zabihyan, of the Grenfell Next of Kin group, said: "It doesn't hit the sides of what's really necessary."

Survivors and the bereaved will be able to receive either a lump payment or receive annual draw downs ranging from £1,500 to £8,000.

The amount received depends on whether victims choose to receive the support of a key worker - a council officer who can help them to access services.

The support was approved by the council at a meeting on Wednesday night.

'Spread quite thin'

"This is not new money, and it's not a huge amount of money," Ms Zabihyan said.

"This money was part of the settlement for future support for the victims and, actually, it's got to be divided up between 15,000 people, so it is sort of spread quite thin."

Some £10m has been earmarked to provide free gym memberships, discounted respite breaks and advocacy support to residents within 500m (1,650 ft) of the tower at the time of the fire.

Another £14m will be directed towards education and training for victims and the local community.

It is understood ex-residents of Grenfell Tower who were not there on the night and residents of Grenfell Walk will face a reduction in payments.

'Ongoing trauma'

In the report, the council said the funds were "structured restoratively" and aimed to "address current issues and help with future needs".

“We recognise the ongoing needs and trauma of everyone who is eligible for this additional support and acknowledge the emotional difficulties involved in the financial parts of this process," it said.

Kensington and Chelsea Council finished multiple rounds of consultations on the new compensation model in May.

Survey findings suggested 46% of respondents felt comfortable with the final version of the plan and 24% felt fine with most of it.

The council said people who stood to receive lower personal payments were more likely to be unhappy with the model.

Ms Zabihyan said: "To achieve the access to this money we had to participate in a lot of consultations and that was gruelling as well.

"I think that everyone is just totally exhausted. We've had seven years of process after process after process but no closure at all.

"We can't move forward. People are stuck in limbo and having to still navigate processes with professionals who are getting paid considerable sums of money for their professional services."

She added: "But of course the victims don't get paid while they are still trapped in trauma as victims."

Grenfell tower hoarding
The £42m is part of the Global Settlement Agreement that was agreed last year [BBC]

'Impact still felt'

Maxine Holdsworth, chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea borough council, said: "We are hopeful that the final models of support the community has designed will help support them in the years to come.

“The devastating impact of Grenfell is still keenly felt. The inquiry report, a criminal investigation and the future of the tower are all challenges still to come for the bereaved, survivors and local residents."

She added the council was "grateful" to the thousands of people that took part in the consultations.

The £42m is part of the Global Settlement Agreement that was agreed last year.

The council will provide £12m, which will be funded through borrowing, with government funding and contributions from other defendants in the civil case going into the pot.

The Future Grenfell Support programme will take effect in September and replace the support service currently in place, known as Dedicated Service.

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