Grenfell Uncovered: Hundreds of children treated for trauma after the Grenfell fire

Figures obtained by ITV News reveal hundreds of children who lost family and friends at Grenfell and saw the tower on fire have been treated for trauma.

In North Kensington 10,000 people were screened for trauma with 2,000 given treatment. Of these 744 were children who suddenly found themselves overwhelmed with grief.

Next week phase two of the Grenfell Inquiry begins and for many it will evoke memories of the night which claimed 72 lives and scarred an entire community.

Randa Imlahi lost five members of her family and one of her best friends.

Randa Imlahi was 13 years old at the time of the Grenfell fire Credit: ITV News

You have love for these people and they're not there any more. It's like you just close your eyes and you open them and they're just gone. You can say I'm going to see you tomorrow and there's no tomorrow. One of them I used to tell everything to them. We used to talk on the phone and now there's no phone conversation.


Naila El-Guenuni, who was 11 years old at the time of the Grenfell fire, managed to escape from the eighteenth floor after being woken by her mum.

Naila El-Guenuni was 11 years old at the time of the Grenfell fire Credit: ITV News

My mum woke me up and told me that we needed to evacuate because of fire coming into the kitchen. We were unsure who'd made it, who didn't, who died, who survived. So it was all up in the air.


An entire area of West London was affected by the Grenfell fire, a community coping with a tragedy on its doorstep.

The devastation resulted in not only the biggest mental health response in the UK but one of the largest in the world.

Grenfell Health and Wellbeing Service in West London Credit: ITV News

We know on the night of the fire approximately 4,000 people witnessed the fire which is a huge number of people and because it went on for such a long time is also what made it different.

Dr SARAH HEKE, Consultant Psychologist, NHS Grenfell Health & Wellbeing Service

After the fire Shaheed Meimou was finding it hard to cope with the death of his friend.

Shaheed Mrimou was 13 years old at the time of the Grenfell fire Credit: ITV News

When I heard that Biruk passed away I broke down. I've never broken down like that in my life. My whole face was covered in tears. I've never experienced anything like that in my life.


Shaheed wasn't alone. An entire generation of children was now struggling withits emotions.

Ashylnn McIntosh was 12 years old at the time of the Grenfell fire Credit: ITV News

I just didn't know how to feel because something that big had never happened before. I broke down into tears.


It all built up inside me and suddenly it just hit me one day. I was helping my mum all the time and making sure she was alright but she kind of forgot to check if I was alright. I was always acting like I was alright. So I pushed everything away to help myself. The state I was in that night I was in that state for a long time because I just avoided talking about it. I felt like it was for the best.

Johara Menacer
Johara Menacer was 13 years old at the time of the Grenfell fire Credit: ITV News

Therapists who worked with the children said their symptoms were serious enough to need support.

Young people had reported experiencing things like flashbacks, panic attacks, very classic symptoms of PTSD or when someone has witnessed a traumatic event.

Amell el-Guenuni, NHS Therapist

Some of them were in the tower, some had lost families, some were in the community so they all had their different levels of trauma. They all screened very high.


Confused in the chaos after the fire traditional therapies were not working for some children.

First help I got was one-to-one but I don't really like that it wasn't for me. I just felt like it was so awkward being in a room with one other person. They didn't really understand what was happening. I just saw them as a professional rather than someone that I could relate to.

Naila El-Guenuni

These children joined together and formed a group called Young Grenfell supported by the NHS and with help from the community.

Supported by the NHS and the community the children formed Young Grenfell Credit: Young Grenfell

I went there [Young Grenfell] and I saw a lot of familiar faces - people I didn't know were hurting or didn't want to talk or were in the same situation as me. They wanted to express themselves but didn't know how to channel it.

Johara Menacer

Young Grenfell was a form of group therapy using talking, art and creating books writing memories of lost friends.

Credit: Young Grenfell

It helped a lot because at the start I was a really angry person. While I was in these groups it made me a better person and I can control my anger. I thought it wouldn't help me at all so that's why I didn't start to go. But I'm starting now and it's really useful.

Randa Imlahi

When I came to the group the group taught me techniques and how to deal with the flashbacks and I started to use them. I feel better. Before when I used to talk about it I used to get emotional but now not as much.

Shaheed Meimou

The group helped me with a lot of things. It helped me manage my emotions, it helped me become who I am today, become a confident person.

Johara Menacer

Young Grenfell has become so successful its members have all become NHS ambassadors championing mental health in the community.

It's helping other people who don't know how to reach out for help. I tell them that having mental health is OK, having problems and being upset over certain things it's alright.

Johara Menacer

I can help young people going through PTSD I can help them and recommend groups to them.

Shaheed Meimou

I'm really proud that I can help others. I needed some support as well so me and the others encouraging other people to get the same help I had is really good.

Randa Imlahi

Two and a half years after the fire together this group moves forward never forgetting those they left behind.

I've learnt how to cope with it - breathe out, breathe in. Think of different techniques that will help you calm down and don't think of it in a bad way. They were gone for a reason. It might not have been the best way but in our religion they're not going to go to hell they're going to go to heaven because they died in a fire and we never had the chance to say goodbye. But I don't think we should forget about it.

Johara Menacer