‘Incredible response’ to collection for victims of Grenfell Tower fire

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Ri

Smoke billows from a fire that has engulfed the 27-storey Grenfell Tower in west London (Picture: Rick Findler/PA Wire) - Credit: Archant

Residents in St Neots joined forces with Freemasons in the town to collect clothes and other donations for those affected by the fire that destroyed Grenfell Tower, in London.

The blaze engulfed the block of flats, in north Kensington, shortly before 1am on Wednesday, with 12 people reported to have died, although London Fire Brigade says the toll is expected to rise.

Yesterday an emergency appeal was put out by the Freemasons Euston Lodge, based in Eaton Socon, for donations of clothing to take to the families caught up in the devastation.

Mick Pescod, founding member and trustee, said: “The response we got was incredible. People just wanted to help but didn’t know what to bring - some brought clothes and others brought in sleeping bags, blankets and we got some food.”

The lodge, which is a part of Freemasonry in Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, managed to collect about 40 bags of donations which were taken to one of the collection centres close to the 27-storey Grenfell Tower on Wednesday evening.

“It was fantastic to see the community spirit, it was incredible. The four donation stops were inundated with people donating things and everybody wanted to help,” Mr Pescod added.

Although not all donated items could be taken to London, they will still be put to good use as they will be given to the homeless in Peterborough as part of an on-going project by the lodge to feed and clothe those living on the city’s streets.

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“The homeless situation in Peterborough is chronic so we go there twice a week. We feed them and offer them drinks first and then we open the back of the van and pass out the clothes,” said Mr Pescod.

Members of the lodge were helped by friends and family to collect and sort out the donations for both London and Peterborough.

Huntingdon-based Mick George has also got involved with the appeal for donations by setting up collection points across Cambridgeshire.

One of those is at the company’s headquarters at 6 Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, PE29 6XU. The collection point will be open today (Thursday) till 2pm.

The business has already had an overwhelming response to its call with several vehicles already fall and ready to be taken to the capital.

Donations of blankets, clothes, toys, toiletries and nappies, along with other basic necessities are welcome.

Others in Huntingdonshire also sorted donations from their own belongings to help with the London appeal.

Prime Minister Theresa May said there would be a full investigation into the blaze and “if there are any lessons to be learned they will be”.