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‘Camden Stands With Grenfell’ benefit concert for fire victims

Camden residents respond to blaze tragedy with mass of donations

21 June, 2017 — By Sabrina Matica-Hickey

A BENEFIT concert in support of victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy will be held tomorrow night on Friday night at the WAC Arts Centre.

The Camden Stands with Grenfell music and poetry event, in Belsize Park, will feature an eclectic mix of musicians and actors including Celia Imrie, Tamzin Outhwaite and playwright Roy Williams OBE. All proceeds go to the Grenfell Tower Fire Fund.

Che Walker, an artist who organises events at the centre, said “the evening has been brought together very quickly” and “some of London’s most talented and established artists” had been eager to get involved. “The response from artists has been fantastic and swift,” added Mr Walker.

Meanwhile, Camden community groups this week rallied together to show solidarity and support with those affected by the tower tragedy. Many ad-hoc organisers have been overwhelmed by the generosity and some have had to stop accepting donations.

Jane Edwards, manager of the Sherriff Centre in West Hampstead, said donations including toiletries, nappies, toothbrushes and children’s toys had flooded in. She added: “Within half-an-hour people were coming in with all sorts of things, mostly what we had requested. Our phones rang all day with people offering to come in and help sort the donations out, if they could transport them nearer to Grenfell.”

In Kentish Town, the NW5 Community Play Project received donations at the tenants hall at the Peckwater Estate with project workers taking bedding, towels and nappies over to the Latimer Community Centre in Ladbroke Grove. They later thanked “all who helped over the past two days sorting through bits and organising where they go”.

Our Lady Help of Christians, in Lady Margaret Road, Kentish Town, remembered the victims of the fire by holding a special service of prayer on Friday. Schools and universities have also united to collect aid and resources for the people affected by the tragedy. Primrose Hill Primary School raised £740 and the University College London’s student union brought in donations from students at its Gordon Street campus.

Namaste Kitchen’s Sabbir Karim, Councillor Nadia Shah, and Abdus Samad from the Bengali Workers’ Association

Sabbir Karim, from the Namaste Kitchen, went down to Grenfell on the day, bringing hot food and toiletries, toothpaste, toothbrush, snacks, T-shirts, shaving kits, and other daily necessities.

Mr Karim said: “The volunteers warmly accepted our contributions and food. It was very emotional and scary. People are left with nothing, no homes, but the community got together helping with positive spirits and I’m glad that we’ve managed to do our small contribution, too.”  On July 2, comedians are putting on a Stand Up 4 Grenfell Tower fundraiser at Dingwalls, Camden Town.

To buy tickets to the WAC Arts event, which starts at 7.30pm, visit https://camdenstandswithgrenfelltower.


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