Many of our members have been in contact with ACC about how to offer their services to support people within the West Kensington Community and others affected by the Grenfell Fire. As can be appreciated this is a complex, distressing situation that requires a safe, informed and well-managed response.
The Mind and Soul Foundation http://www.mindandsoulfoundation.org , partnering with the Latymer Community Church http://www.latymer.org.uk/grenfelltowerrelieffund.htm and the local Eden project, have mobilised quickly to formulate just such a response. ACC would encourage all of you who feel called and are willing and able to volunteer, to offer your services through the Mind and Soul Foundation.
Please read the details below, and if you are suitably qualified and experienced email: mindandsoulfoundation@GMX.com stating clearly in the title bar of the message whether you are volunteering for counselling or pastoral care/spiritual direction.
Mind and Soul are appealing for registered counsellors (with insurance), who are willing to give at least five pro bono counselling sessions, to contact them with a view to being part of a qualified, safe professional resource pool for those who are identified as needing counselling. Location is not an issue as the counselling can be delivered through other channels, for example Skype. This culturally sensitive work dealing with trauma, loss and other psychological effects, is likely to be needed/to begin at some point in the next couple of months. This allows for an appropriate period following the fire for acute stress disorder and post traumatic stress disorder to emerge and be able to be recognised (in line with WHO guidelines). Mind and Soul will facilitate a central process of assessment and referral.
There is also a need for experienced and culturally sensitive pastoral carers and spiritual directors to work as volunteers in the more immediate aftermath of the tragedy, based at the Latimer Community Church. Mind and Soul are managing and facilitating this service of listening and offering emotional support to help sustain people affected by the distressing events of the fire and its aftermath.
The Mind and Soul have published a guidance document on trauma which may be of help to you in your client and pastoral work, in the wake not only of the Grenfell Tower fire, but also the recent terrorist attacks in the UK.
Other news and updates on the Grenfell fire will be published by Mind and Soul on their website and site, and on Twitter and Facebook under @mindandsouluk
For all of these situations we join you in thinking and praying about those who are affected. If anyone is aware of any similar caring and counselling initiatives in response to the recent Westminster, Manchester and Borough Market attacks please let us know and we will publicise them.
The ACC team