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Mothers’ Union to aid families in tower tragedy 

Grenfell Tower fire. (Photo: Natalie Oxford)

AS PART OF a united and co-ordinated effort from members in Anglican dioceses across the United Kingdom, Mothers’ Union is planning to support families who were affected by the horrendous London tower block fire tragedy in June by offering holidays under the charity’s Away From It All (AFIA) scheme.

The fire occurred on June 14th at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower block of public housing flats in West London. It caused an estimated 80 deaths and over 70 injuries. The majority of the 255 survivors remain in emergency accommodations.

It is believed that the fire started accidentally on the fourth floor but its rapid growth may have been accelerated by the building’s exterior cladding, which is of a common type in widespread use. An independent review of building regulations and fire safety is in progress.

Margaret Blazey, Diocesan President for Mother’s Union in the London Diocese, said, “We are working with the Bishop of Kensington’s office in co-ordinating plans to help as many families as possible who have been caught up in this terrible tragedy.”

The charity recognises that the impact of this tragedy will be felt for many years to come. Mothers’ Union is inviting families to apply for a holiday at a time that best suits them, whenever that might be.  Mothers’ Union continues to pray for the families and all of those affected.

“It is hard to imagine what these families are currently experiencing and what they have gone through,” said Bev Jullien, CEO of Mothers’ Union. “At Mothers’ Union we thought about how best we could support them. We have been running AFIA holidays for more than 50 years. These holidays reflect the heart of who we are by showing practical support where it is needed most.”

AFIA is funded by Mothers’ Union members to help people who are experiencing stress in their family life to enjoy much-needed family time together. The cost of the holiday or travel expenses are met by Mothers’ Union.

In 2016 Mothers’ Union provided 3,400 people across the United Kingdom and Ireland with a break. The holidays take many different forms. Some are specially organized weeks in which families and volunteers go away together. Others may take place in a holiday home owned by Mothers’ Union, usually near a beach. Some holidays take the form of day trips.

Mothers’ Union is an international Anglican membership charity founded in England in 1876 by Mary Sumner. It seeks to support families world-wide. Of its 4 million members, approximately 1.9 million are from Indian dioceses. A further 1.3 million Mothers’ Union members are in African dioceses, with the largest membership, 680,000, in Tanzania.  TAP                           –Main Source: ACNS   

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