Today saw The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attend the launch of new charity, the National Emergencies Trust (NET), where they met with the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire.
Prince William and Kate were at St-Martin-in-the-Fields in the capital, to mark the new organisation, which has been created following the numerous disasters in 2017, which saw a need for collaboration in order to distribute donations to those in need following emergencies, like the fire, or the Manchester arena bombing and Westminster terror attack.
The organisation will launch appeals on TV and social media, should a crisis occur, and then allocate and distribute money where it is needed.
The scale of public donations to help victims after these tragedies demonstrated the need for a “more efficient” and “collaborative” singular charity. There was a worry that multiple charitable appeals following a disaster could leave the public feeling overwhelmed, and unsure where to send their money for the best effect.
Additionally, it emerged last month that 16 people fraudulently posed as Grenfell survivors, claimed a total of £775,000 from the victims’ fund, with police only recovering £24,000 of that figure.
General Lord Dannatt, the chairman of the new trust, said of the public’s response in 2017: “The general public were very generous and most of the money that was raised went to the right causes and the right people, but not everything went as it should have done.”
Catherine was seen petting one of the rescue dogs that worked on the Grenfell Tower site, before the couple sat down to speak to survivors of such terrible events.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met victims of disasters including the Grenfell Tower fire and Manchester Arena bombing today.
William later said: "Their stories are as heart-breaking as they are inspiring." pic.twitter.com/LX06rFvgru
— Caitlin Doherty (@_CaitlinDoherty) November 7, 2019
The Duke of Cambridge has previously visited Grenfell victims, including once with his grandmother The Queen in the days after the tragedy.
Prince William praised the “resilience and strength” of those affected by these types of disaster, and gave his approval to NET. “I am very pleased that the National Emergencies Trust now stands ready to provide a structured, organised response to help people right across the UK in the event of a domestic disaster.”
“Whenever and wherever disaster strikes here in the UK, this country has a unique way of pulling together. From the people who donate their blood, to the children who empty their piggy banks, to the families that set aside a bedroom in their home.”
“Whenever and wherever disaster strikes here in the UK, this country has a unique way of pulling together.”
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 7, 2019
“From the people who donate their blood, to the children who empty their piggy banks, to the families that set aside a bedroom in their home.
“The way that local communities support those affected shows the very best of our values and human nature.
“But in the wake of tragedy, managing and channeling the public’s desire to help can prove tricky.
“I saw this for myself on the ground in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. I therefore fully support what you are doing here today.”
The Duke said it was “fitting” that a new charity had been launched to mirror the Disasters Emergency Committee, which uses the public’s “extraordinary generosity” to respond to disasters overseas.
“I’m impressed about how willing the charity sector has been to learn the lessons from previous responses, and to ensure that the quickest and most appropriate support is offered to those affected.”
The Duchess of Cambridge, meanwhile, commented: “It’s not just the support provided at the time, but how it’s continued in the future.”