As the capital comes to terms with the terrible events of Saturday night one thing is very clear: the strength and resilience of Southwark’s communities will be vital in the coming weeks and months as we look to one another for support. The borough has one of the most vibrant and diverse voluntary and community sectors in the UK – with nearly 1,200 registered charities and around 4,000 community groups. Many will now be trying to come to terms with what has happened and look for ways in which they can support the local community.
As more details emerge of what took place we have heard dozens of tales of immense bravery – from the off duty policeman who tackled the assailants with no thought to his own safety, to the café owner who helped bring 130 people to safety.
We have also witnessed how immense our police and hospital staff are – their vital interventions undoubtedly saving countless lives.
Our thoughts echo many of our community leaders. Here are a few of their responses below:
- Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
- Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council
- Southwark Multi-Faith Forum
- the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun and the Dean of Southwark, the Very Andrew Nunn
- Statement from Borough Market
- Amir Eden – Chairman of the Bankside Residents Forum
Members of the public will also be able to lay floral tributes at the flagpoles at City Hall. Click here for details.
As James Hatts, editor of the brilliant London SE1 community website, suggested earlier today, a community event taking place on Sunday 18 June has taken on a greater significance. The Bankside Open Spaces Trust is inviting people – residents and those who work in the area – to get together to celebrate all that we hold in common. What matters is that we have fun and bring communities closer together.
Event organisers are looking for volunteers so if you are free on the 18th and want to show your support why not get in touch? For more details about the event click here.
The Home Office have published information about support that is available for people affected by the attacks. Click here for guidance on support services available for victims, witnesses, family members and those affected by the attacks.
The NSPCC have produced resources to help in talking to children about terrorism which can be accessed here.
We know that people will want to help and provide support at this difficult time. A British Red Cross UK Solidarity Fund has been launched that people can make donations to fund services to support people in the long-term. The advice is that this is the best way that individuals can help at this time.
South London and Maudsley hospital have also released an information sheet designed to offer brief tips about self-care and self-help to anyone affected by Saturday's attack. You can download it here.
Message from Southwark Council
The message to all Southwark residents and visitors remains to be calm but vigilant. If you see or hear anything suspicious which might be terrorism-related, the police Anti-Terrorist Hotline is available 24 hours a day on 0800 789 321 to report concerns. The police emergency number should always be used in any instance where there is deemed to be an immediate risk of harm.
Southwark Council and the police continue to work closely to ensure a zero-tolerance approach to hate crime in any form. Anyone who experiences an incident of hate crime is encouraged to report it to the police at the earliest opportunity. More information around reporting and support is available at: http://www.2.southwark.gov.uk/hatecrime
Photo courtesy of London SE1 Community Website