Skip to main content

Table 2 Verbatim quotes from study participants

From: A qualitative evaluation of Southwark Council’s public health response to mitigating the mental health impact of the 2017 London bridge and borough market terror attack





I from the outset was quite concerned about the welfare of everyone who had been affected by this. Local residents, Borough Market, the market stall holders. Folk who had witnessed this, folk who had been injured by it. I knew there was a strong international dimension from the get-go and I wanted a safe refuge for family members coming from abroad to be able to go close to the site. To have good psychological support, good practical support. So we opened a Humanitarian Assistance Centre. (Council worker)


We put in place also like an information sheet which was promoted across the borough that had services for children and young people, for parents, carers, for adults. But the workshops that people can access... so the idea was about developing toolkits, linking people with support which is in the borough, and having that seminar to understand more what is out there. Taking that back to there, what is within the area. (Local mental health team)


We used the council’s CCTV network to provide cover to faith institutions, because this was happening during Ramadan where there’s a large amount of people out on the streets in the evening having come to and from Friday prayers in particular. They (Muslim community) were worried about attacks against their premises, they were worried about hate crime and victimisation of their communities. (Council worker)


Imagining the kind of psychological stuff, of imagining what could’ve happened to you. There’s the people who work here in the restaurants and everything. I mean some of them saw the most horrific things and felt that their life was on the edge as they were cowering at the back of their restaurants. And some staff had just gone because they couldn’t cope being in the place anymore. (Community leader)


there were photographs in the press, where people actually have obviously used a long lens and were outside the court and from someone’s bedroom shooting down the road (resident)


we were already being asked to do interviews. I say we, the authority and the leader, that kind of level to do interviews. The news is straight on it, ain’t they? (Council worker)


When it comes to the women, because they use a hijab, it’s very obvious. But men, like me now, I carry my cap and put it in my pocket, nobody will know. And when it comes to having a beard, not only Muslims have a beard. We have some non-Muslims that they just like the beard for fashion. You understand it? So when it comes to the women they are more vulnerable (Muslim community leader)


Why were we locked out of our … either out or into our homes? And why was the cathedral locked down? People couldn’t access the sacred place that’s in the middle of the community. So people were being told you can get in and turn up and told no, you can’t. It causes frustration, it causes angst and causes just anger. I was awake all night really and discovered that the cordon was Pizza Express on our side of Bankside. And the officers there were very clear that I wouldn’t be able to get to the cathedral. (Resident)


I think the people who attended [the workshops] were mostly businesses who attended. I think it would be useful for people who were actually affected from the event, the incident, to allow them to come. (local mental health team)


The question I always get is how do we identify ‘vulnerables’? And we always kick back with well what’s vulnerable? Because three o’clock in the morning, you’re chucked out on the street, you’re all vulnerable. (Council worker)


People who had gathered there spontaneously started to clear all the flowers after the mayor and the clergy and some people from the mosque had begun it, everybody then joined in. And everyone cleared it themselves, the community cleared the flowers, which was extremely cathartic. The council workers who were there to put everything into the vans, just stood there and received all the bunches from the people and put them into the vans. And that was really, really good. (Community leader)