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Slough volunteers come to aid of Grenfell Tower fire victims

James Hockaday

Kindness and humanity was shown by Slough residents who have come to the aid of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in West London.

The tower block blaze erupted on Wednesday and took the lives of at least 79 people.

Several people from Slough raised money and delivered aid to the struggling families in the aftermath.

Ravi Singh, CEO of Slough-based humanitarian charity Khalsa Aid, came to the scene with a team of volunteers and provided everyday essentials.

Describing the immediate aftermath of the inferno, Ravi said: "It was quite hectic, it was chaotic, there were people being told their loved ones were still missing."

Ravi's crew also collected hundreds of meals from a Punjabi restaurant for families and helped other charities and aid groups coordinate their operations over social media.

"We started helping the helpers to take the pressure off them,” added Ravi, who says he was impressed by the help being provided by people from all walks of life.

He criticised the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Government for offering 'no real leadership' but said that the community and volunteers 'saved the day'.

Ravi's wife and diabetes specialist Bal Sandhu helped diabetics in the community, many of whom lost their medication in the fire.

Khalsa Aid is continuing to send free food to a support group set up for children who have been impacted by the blaze.

Slough borough councillor Shabnum Sadiq (Lab, Wexham Lea) organised a collection drive with friends Raabia Akhtar and Aamna Ahmed after the fire.

Between the fire and Saturday morning, the team collected an entire van's worth of food, toiletries and other essentials which they delivered on Saturday.

Slough's new MP Tan Dhesi helped Cllr Sadiq's team load the van.

"There was a really emotional feel, there were people walking around looking very solemn," said Cllr Sadiq.

"There was anger as well, there were a lot of people breaking down.

"It was quite heart-wrenching to be honest."

As worshippers at the Masjid Al-Jannah Mosque in Stoke Road broke their Ramadan fast on Friday, attendees donated £2,638 within one hour.

"Everyone came forward," said mosque president Mohamed Anees.

The Jamia Masjid and Islamic Centre, in Stoke Poges Lane, has raised £6,000 among its members so far and is still collecting donations.


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