London: Companies, celebrities and charities have sprung into action to offer help to those left injured or homeless by the Grenfell Tower fire.
Dozens of kind-hearted strangers have rushed to the scene of the inferno, in West London, to donate food, drinks and clothing, while hundreds more have donated money online to the British Red Cross and a number of crowdfunders which have been set up for the victims.
Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson has urged members of the public to donate clothes to residents of Grenfell Tower following the fire which has claimed at least six lives
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver wrote online that his restaurant in Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush – which is just 1.5 miles from the inferno – will provide free food and drink to those affected by the blaze.
Film director Noel Clarke was at the scene of the blaze and said he came down as he feared for his mother who lives ’50 yards’ from Grenfell Tower.
He said: ‘My relatives live here, I grew up here, my films are set here, my friends live here, one of my friend’s nieces is still missing.
‘I was on my way into town and I knew i had to come and help so i have been here carrying water inside the church. ‘I’ve got clothes being delivered by a couple of labels and Pepsi are going to be sending drinks.’
The former Dr Who and Kidulthood star added: ‘The community support has been great. London has been affected by a lot in the past few weeks and the way people are coming together is amazing.’
He refused to comment on accusations the building was poorly managed and added: ‘I don’t want to talk about politics, what’s important now is helping the people’.
And broadcaster Emma Freud offered to open up her own home by any of the hundreds of families left displaced by the fire. Several Crowdfunders have been set up to support the victims, with one having already raised £29,000.
Clarkson posted on Facebook: ‘Everything that was clean in my wardrobe has been donated. Please try and do the same thing.’ Three support centres have been opened nearby for members of the public to donate clothes, toys, and toiletries.
Rugby Portobello Trust, St Clement’s Church and Tabernacle Christian Centre are all open to provide help and accept donations. One of the charity appeals, launched by a woman called Haley Yearwood, has already attracted £30,000 in donations by 400 generous people.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea said there is a rest centre at Harrow Centre, Freston Road, while nearby St Clements Church was collecting clothes, food and water for those affected – many of whom had been forced to escape the building in their night clothes.