2017-09-11 19:25:29 UTC
Too white Red Cross struggled to help
The head of the British Red Cross has admitted the charity struggled with
the Grenfell disaster because its workforce is too white.
Mike Adamson, the charity's chief executive, said: "There is a risk that in
a very diverse community like Grenfell, an organisation with the words
'British' and 'Cross' in its title is confused with a Christian
Although the charity is impartial in its work, he added: "There is no
escaping the fact that with shining exceptions, such as our refugee
services, we are nowhere near as diverse as we need to be in our volunteer
base, our staffing or our leadership."
He said he had implemented a strategy to improve things.
The Red Cross was drafted in to help in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower
fire in June, but many survivors feel they have yet to see any benefit from
the charity's fundraising efforts, with some even accusing it of being
The charity has raised £6.2m, but only £2.4m has been sent to organisations
that will distribute the money.
Adamson's frank comments in a blog for the New Philanthropy Capital think
tank are reminiscent of Greg Dyke, the former BBC director-general, who
described the broadcaster as "hideously white" in 2001.
A large proportion of families living in Grenfell Tower were from ethnic
minority and Muslim backgrounds.