‘I couldn’t sleep all weekend’: Hackney teacher traumatised by Grenfell organises Gillett Square fundraiser
- Credit: Gwynfor Hood
Musicians are putting on a show in Gillett Square on Sunday afternoon to raise money for youngsters living their lives in the aftermath of the Grenfell fire disaster.
Gwynfor Hood, a special needs teacher at Our Lady and St Joseph secondary school, was inspired to set up the fundraiser while sitting in the Dalston square following a visit to the charred remains of the 24-storey residential tower block in Kensington.
Police said this week they believe the number of people who died in the blaze would remain at about 80, but some believe the figure to be higher.
Gwynfor told the Gazette: “If you go there be prepared for the shock - I couldn’t sleep all weekend and I’m not easily affected. It was seeing all these people in this void wandering around.
“I was sitting in Gillett Square afterwards and I thought surely we can utilise this fantastic public space to show them they will never be forgotten and to share their grief, and to do something positive in terms of raising funds.”
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Money will be put towards art therapy for the children who are going to have to “carry on living their lives with this great big constant reminder in the middle of their community”.
“The building overshadows everything,” said Gwynfor. “It’s standing there like a big silent monster. It stopped me in my tracks.
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“I’ve got two brothers who are ex-firemen and I’ve grown up listening to their stories and this is on a different level completely. “It’s shocking but at the same time there’s the dignity and the restraint the people have shown.”
Gwynfor will be playing bass with his band, the OT Band, and a survivor from the Grenfell community will give a speech.
Other performers include Naloua, Nesah Gonzales, Princess Olowogboye, DiAndre Banks, The Institute of Rhythm and Blues as well as Amaria Braithwaite from The Voice.
There will also be an embroidery workshop going on, and people will be invited to contribute their thoughts on Grenfell to a big mural which will be sent over to Kensington.
T-shirts with a Gillett for Grenfell logo will be sold on the day.
Gwynfor is looking for poets, singers, jugglers and bucket shakers to get involved.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
The event takes place from 1pm to 5pm in Gillett Square.