A GoFundMe page has been created to allow people to donate money to assist those people who were affected by the explosion in the flats near Ardleigh Green Road on the 23rd Jan 2017.

The page was created by Browne A Sarah, who we managed to contact and ask a few questions:

What drove you to setting up a funding page for those who were affected by the Ardleigh Green Explosion?

When I started to see posts on Facebook, my immediate thought was around a few people I knew that lived around the area in flats near The lights – luckily for them, not in the flats concerned but, it was enough to play on my mind and for me to feel like I wanted to do something to help.

When talking with other mums on the Ardleigh Green Mums and Ardleigh Green Neighbourhood Watch Facebook pages, it became clear that I wasn’t the only one feeling helpless for those involved and wanting to help in some way.

Whilst the mums and I didn’t want to get under the local services feet, we was keen to get something started which was when myself, Nina Harvey Stiffel and Amanda Sena decided to group together to start a campaign consisting of a Go Fund Me Page, donation station and coffee morning Charlotte Fitch kindly offered to come on board and allow us to use Ardleigh House for the donation station that we wanted to run for the residents and that’s where it all began.

How do you plan to use the money to assist those affected?

The campaign has been designed in stages, the first being to try to get residents to come forward and make contact – so far we have been working alongside 12 of the residents.

The second stage was to reach out to local companies and the community for donations which we got a fantastic response to! Tescos Airfield Way and Gallows between them donated homeware, food and toiletries and the public donated clothes, toys, books, games and DVDs.

We held a donation station on Friday, Coffee morning on Saturday with Samaritans and a Counsellor on site where residents could drop in as and when to take what they needed. Whatever was left, an indoor bootsale was done on Sunday and the funds raised will be added to the Go Fund Me account.

The money from the account will be split / prioritised between those wanting help and their circumstances to help them in the short term whilst they get re housed and await their claims to be processed (For those that had insurance as, most didn’t).

The third part of the campaign was speaking with the local MP Andrew And Councillor Melvin with regards to a number of issues that the tenants raised – they were in agreement and are looking to support the residents where possible.

The final part of the campaign will be, once tenants are rehoused, to do the final donation station but this time, for furniture they lost which they need for their new homes – a like for like process

I noticed that you were assisting in finding pets lost on site, have you had any success stories from this?

Speaking to a resident, a number of cats and kittens from various residents had gone missing but since getting Celia Hammond involved, a number of cats and kittens were pulled out alive as well as a red belly newt :0)

You can donate to the GoFundMe for the flats at: https://www.gofundme.com/hornchurch-flat-explosion-help