This year's Channel 4 Alternative Christmas Message will be read by five children who survived the Grenfell Tower disaster.
The children, aged between seven and 12, will speak about the importance of having a home and cherishing those close to you. Considering the number of families affected by the fire still living in hotels or temporary accommodation this Christmas, their message will be particularly poignant.
71 people, including 18 children, died in the 14th June fire which spread through the West London tower block.
Hayam Atmani, aged 10, who lived on the 15th floor in the tower, spoke about what it is like living in a hotel. ‘It’s really far away from my school. It’s not that much fun,’ Hayam said.
Sisters Luana and Megan Gomes, aged 12 and 10, who were both placed in induced comas as a treatment for smoke inhalation will also speak. Their family spent five months living in a hotel but have recently moved into a temporary flat in time for Christmas.
‘My Christmas message is that I think all families, children and parents, should have a nice, warm, cosy home. I just everyone in the world to have a house at least,’ Megan said.
‘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,’ Luana said.
The message will be broadcast on Christmas Day on Channel 4 at 2.30pm, half an hour before the Queen makes her annual Christmas Day greeting on the BBC. Started by the broadcasters in 1993, last year’s Alternative Christmas Message was made by Brendan Cox, widower of Jo Cox.