‘Incredible’ Haverhill community rallies for Grenfell Tower inferno victims, donating hundreds of items to help
PUBLISHED: 15:44 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:13 15 June 2017
The “incredible community” of Haverhill, home to many former London families, has donated hundreds of items to help the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.
The town has rejected negative stereotypes that some wrongly associate with Haverhill, rallying together to support the hundreds made homeless after the inferno at a west London tower block.
Within hours of Haverhill Town councillor Tony Brown, along with Mayor David Roach and other councillors, asking for donations, hundreds of people rushed to the Haverhill Arts Centre to donate.
A team of people volunteered to give up hours of their time to sort through the items, working into the night on Wednesday, June 14.
On Thursday morning volunteers loaded two large vans, with one setting off for a donation centre in London and the other being stored at Haverhill homeless charity’s warehouse and be delivered in the coming days.
Mr Brown, a UKIP councillor, said: “It is just incredible – truly awe-inspiring. Haverhill has always had an incredible community who always help each other and this is just proving that.
“I just cannot believe the scale of the response. It is not just people donating, it is the volunteers who have worked non-stop to sort the items. It makes me very proud.”
He said he is also thankful for people coming from Sudbury, Newmarket and Bury to donate.
The Grenfell Tower fire, started in the early hours of Tuesday. It has completely devastated the 24-storey flat block, which is home to 400 to 600 people.
More than 16 people have been confirmed dead, but the death toll could be more than 100.
Hundreds have been left homeless, with young families losing everything in the inferno.
It is owned by Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council and many residents are social housing tenants.
Mr Brown said Haverhill, which expanded during the years of London overspill, has a close affinity with the capital with many people moving out of the city to the Suffolk town.
“We have people here who know those who live in that tower,” he said, saying one lady has family members in intensive care.
“Many of us are former Londoners or second generation. We are just horrified by the fire, it should not have happened and people should not have to live in dangerous places like that.”