London, England (August 10, 2011) – The Salvation Army is assisting the emergency services, residents and local communities in the aftermath of unrest in London and other parts of the country. Salvation Army emergency mobile response vehicles have been deployed and, on the advice of the emergency services, been situated in secure areas.
In north London, Haringey Council asked The Salvation Army to run the reception area of a Community Assistance Center for residents and businesses in Tottenham and Wood Green. From 9am to 8pm, every day for at least the next 11 days, The Salvation Army is also providing pastoral support and refreshments to those giving professional advice and services at the Tottenham Green Leisure Centre.
Major Muriel McClenahan, The Salvation Army’s director of emergency services in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, worked the first shift at the center. She says, “We are working closely with Haringey Council to support local residents and businesses as they rebuild their lives and the community after the turmoil of recent days. Salvation Army staff and volunteers are offering practical and emotional support to all who require assistance, including people who have been traumatized, made homeless or suffered other loss as a result of the unrest.
“There are dozens of people bringing donations and leaving in tears at the goodness that is felt. There are many young people here, helping to sort out the donations.”
The Community Assistance Center will help local people with a wide range of issues – from emergency housing for residents whose homes were damaged by the disturbances to advice from a team of social workers. The center will also act as a focal point for the many offers of donations which have been made by both businesses and individuals in the community.
Major McClenahan adds, “Where it has been safe to do so, and with the guidance of the London Fire Brigade, Salvation Army emergency relief teams have been providing food, drinks and support to emergency services personnel as they respond to fires and incidents. We are continuing to monitor the situation and are ready to respond as required by the authorities and emergency services.”
Across the country Salvation Army personnel are meeting with community leaders and local authorities to offer support to rebuild shattered communities. A Salvation Army Emergency Response Unit was on duty in Salford, Manchester, for three and a half hours during Tuesday night (9 August) serving refreshments to fire fighters and providing pastoral care and support. Salvation Army teams are also helping with the clean up in parts of the Wavertree and Toxteth areas of Liverpool.