Children of Grenfell Tower will deliver Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message in 2017.
At least 71 people – including 18 children – died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy earlier this year.
Six months on from the fire that caused such an imaginable loss of life, some of the children who survived the blaze will speak to the nation on Channel 4 by delivering its prestigious Alternative Christmas Message.
In a poignant message to the nation to be broadcast on Christmas Day, five children who narrowly escaped with their parents speak of the importance of having a home and of cherishing family members – because we never know what tomorrow will bring.
One, who will spend Christmas in temporary accommodation as her family has yet to be rehoused, calls for everyone to be given a “nice, warm, cosy home”.
Hayam Atmani, 10, lived on the 15th floor of Grenfell Tower. Hayam and her parents managed to escape from the fire on June 14th, but lost friends. She still has vivid memories of the night of the tragic event: “We went down the stairs and all we could see is this big flame on the side of the building.”
Now they live in a small hotel a long way from her school – where they will spend Christmas and Hayam’s birthday on the 27th.
She added: “My message for everyone at Christmas is to stay as a family, and don’t suffer about anything. I know this has been a really hard time for everyone. But everyone went through. And everyone helped as a family. So I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Luana Gomes, 12, and her sister Megan, 10, lived on the 21st floor. Megan said: “My Christmas message is that I think all families, children and parents should have a nice warm cosy home. I just want everyone in the world to have a house at least.”
Luana added: “My Christmas message is that everybody should love and respect each other because you never know what tomorrow will be like. And it is important to love and cherish your family.”
Amiel Miller, 10, and his brother Danel, 7, and their parents all escaped the fire from the 17th floor. but it was a terrifying experience.
They are looking forward to spending this Christmas in a new flat, having recently been permanently rehoused. Amiel said: “My Christmas message is… it’s not all about getting presents it’s also about giving.” Danel added: “Share food!”
Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message airs Christmas Day, Monday 25 December 2017 at 2:30pm on Channel 4.