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UK crisis response

Helping people in their hour of need

Through our volunteer training programme RespondIR, we’re committed to developing and sustaining a dedicated team of volunteers and staff ready to respond to local emergencies within a period of 48 hours, ensuring that we can serve as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.

From flooding in the north of England to fires in London, communities require assistance in their hour of need and our trained volunteers are on hand to step in.

As a member of local resilience forums around the UK, Islamic Relief remains on call, committed to helping people in their hour of need, whenever that need may arise.


After a fire broke out in Barking, London in June 2019, 20 flats were destroyed and a further ten damaged. A large number of people were left homeless and in need of support.

Upon the request of the British Red Cross’ Crisis Response Team, and in partnership with Barking and Dagenham Council and the Local Resident Association, Islamic Relief joined as a second responder to the recovery phase providing assistance to the predominantly Muslim population including:

  • Helping to signpost residents to appropriate services at a service desk
  • Assisting with the purchase of items in order to meet the religious and cultural needs of residents, for example providing abayas (long gowns) and  access to a local Imam
  • Distributing clothes and refreshments
  • Listening to residents and supporting them in a faith-sensitive manner

We will continue to work with the British Red Cross and local councils to provide culturally and faith-sensitive support during local and national emergencies.


Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in West London in June 2017, Islamic Relief responded immediately by sending a team to assist and support the local community and authorities on the ground.

Our staff and volunteers distributed 6,000 bottles of water and clothes on the morning of the fire and as the tragedy unfolded, we remained on site, providing the necessary help and support to survivors and local people.

In addition, we held a series of live TV appeals, in partnership with leading Muslim charities here in the UK, raising tens of thousands to support relief efforts as part of the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit (GMRU), a coalition of Muslim agencies providing support following the disaster.

As a member of this coalition, we provided funds and strategic support towards:

  • A dedicated emergency telephone helpline
  • Emergency accommodation
  • Bereavement, burials and emotional support
  • Legal advice
  • Assistance centres and caseworkers


When floods hit the county of Cumbria and the city of York in 2015, Islamic Relief volunteer teams from across the UK joined forces with local organisations to support those affected.

Volunteers worked tirelessly to fill thousands of sandbags and provide vital protection to homes at high risk of flooding in York.

In Cumbria, where the flooding affected many homes and left families stranded without necessary supplies, we supported local efforts to distribute food and household goods by providing a grant of £10,000 to local partners.

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