Kate Middleton visited a group of women and children who were affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in June this year. The pregnant royal made her trip to a local community centre in North Kensington to listen to the personal stories of the fire’s victims and congratulate the staff of the Rugby Portobello Trust on their support efforts.
She also took the time to hand out Christmas presents to children who had been affected by the fire, which claimed 71 lives. Talking to a group of youth involved in a music therapy workshop, she said “it’s amazing for all of you to have this support, particularly at such a difficult, such a tragic time,” The Daily Mail reports.
The Duchess then presented a letter to the volunteers who had helped support victims of the Grenfell tragedy, saying that ‘this is just really to pass on huge congratulations to everyone for all the hard work that goes on here by everybody – obviously there must be a huge amount that you do in the community.”
The letter, which was from Kate, Prince Harry and Prince William, praised the community for its tireless efforts. “Every member of your team – from cooks to youth workers, fundraisers to teachers and army of volunteers – has dedicated themselves to supporting the community,” the framed letter read. “We know how crucial your efforts have been at a time of overwhelming grief and sadness.”
The 35-year-old Duchess added that she had been “speaking to everyone here today, hearing some of the stories and hearing how the community centre here really benefits everybody on so many levels. So well done to each and every one of you – this comes from all three of us, congratulations to you all.”
One of the people Kate spoke to was 23-year-old Reese Yeboah, who wasn’t personally affected by the fire but knew people who were. “I think we need more people like that coming through to help the community and keep spirits strong,” Reese said. “I was saying to her with the fire I feel like it’s affected everyone. People are still coping with it now.” He added that “Things like this do help our spirit. It shows that someone does care. It lifts our spirit and makes us feel that we’re not abandoned.”
Leone Buncombe, one of the centre’s volunteers, expressed similar thoughts. “It’s really just nice to have that appreciation. Obviously we’ve been working hard because it’s just the right thing to do. We’re part of the community so we’re making sure that we’re staying and helping those that need the support,” she said.