The September 11 UK Families Support Group (S11UKFSG) was founded in 2002 by and for the UK families whose loved ones were lost in the terrorist attacks in the USA on September 11, 2001. Our aim is to provide a forum for the mutual support of the UK 9/11 families.
The Group formation was facilitated by Disaster Action and greatly supported by the British Red Cross in the early days.
The UK sustained the highest number of 9/11 casualties outside of the USA. There were 67 British victims and several foreign nationals with close UK family ties amongst those who perished in the 9/11 attacks. In addition to grieving the sudden loss of a loved one, the UK families faced an additional layer of complexity in the aftermath of the attacks due to geographic distance to the USA. The practicalities of dealing with a tragedy abroad and the unspoken connection family members felt with each other brought us together as a Group.
At the time of its inauguration S11UKFSG had over 285 members (including 38 children of victims) representing 66 families. Nearly twenty years on, the Group is still going strong and continues to provide support for its members as well as for the new generation of young people as they grow up with the legacy of the loss of their family member in such a public and horrific tragedy.
The main activities of the group are now the anniversary commemorative gatherings at the Memorial Garden in Grosvenor Square, London, the Annual General Meetings and other relevant meetings. The group also disseminates pertinent information to its members as well as media requests. Its remit was larger in the aftermath of 9/11 and included supporting members through counselling, financial-assisted travel to New York and organisation of visits.
Over the years, the Group has provided a much-needed voice for the bereaved families with a number of external agencies, such as the UK and/or US government, charitable trusts, and so on.
S11UKFSG is constituted as an unincorporated association and is run by a committee who are trustees of the Group. The trustees are unremunerated. A major source of funds for the Group when formed was a donation from the American Red Cross. It now exists on donations from its members and the public.