Help and refuge for residents, paramedics and police caught up in the chaos of Saturday’s terror attack was given by the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
Leader of the Southwark Salvation Army church in Elephant and Castle, Ashish Pawar, said: “Being so close to the scene, we just wanted to do something to help so we opened up our church and community centre at 11pm that night.
“Around 25 police officers came for refreshments, seven people slept here, including people who were not able to go back to their hotels, and a number of others just needed to have a hot drink, chat and charge their phones so they could call family and friends.”
And early on Sunday morning, Southwark Council and the Red Cross established a relief centre at South Bank University’s sport academy.
Emma Spragg, director of crisis response for the Red Cross, told the News: “We got the call from our emergency response team at 6am [Sunday June 4] and we were at the centre within an hour.
“Southwark Council were asked to set up the centre by the Met Police and we assisted Southwark Council.”
From their base near Tower Bridge Road, Red Cross volunteers dispatched a van full of supplies and a team of six volunteers, who worked from the early hours until 3pm, when a new team came in to replace them.
“We offered them somewhere to be safe and warm and dry, and food and drink, and things for people to wash, and camp beds to sleep on,” Emma said.
“It was about having a calm quiet place and we had volunteers offering emotional support and people to talk to.”
A dozen or so people took shelter at the relief centre, until they were able to find accommodation with family and friends.