At ECT Charity, we recognise the importance and value of working in partnership with others to support people in the community. Following the tragic events in Kensington earlier this month, we would like to share a blog post from our friends at Westway CT that demonstrates how civil society can pull together during difficult times to support those who need it most. Westway CT’s response has been swift, compassionate and practical. Our partner’s approach is a fantastic example of the vital contribution that community transport makes to our society.
On Wednesday the 14th of June during the early hours of the morning, our community, and then the rest of the world, witnessed the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower.
The Westway CT team are all alive and accounted for, but sadly we have two members of staff that have lost their home of 35 years. We are thankful that they escaped and are physically well and uninjured, but there is no doubt that what they saw that night, will affect them for a long time. We have another two members of staff who have lost family members and our condolences go out to them. We will be focussing on helping them all to rebuild their lives again.
Community Transport is a necessity for so many local people. Our team turned up for work early that morning, despite the major travel disruptions and road closures. We knew that it was going to be a difficult and distressing day. Doing as we normally do, we continued with our usual ‘Shopper Services’ and ‘Volunteer Cars’ journeys and took over 200 children to school in Minibuses. Several of our drivers who live in the local vicinity, many of them in a state of shock, worked tirelessly from morning into the night to assist emergency services however they could. Westway CT then made our fleet of vehicles available to the emergency planners and community activists. Some drivers moved clothing donated to the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, from Acklam Road to a large storage unit in Park Royal, spending hours in standstill traffic. Others helped bring food and bedding from the Rugby Portobello Club to sanctuaries nearby, for those who had been made homeless. All worked alongside hundreds of people from near and far, who wanted to do anything in their power to help. Our staff and the rest of the community pulled together like troopers and we are extremely proud of their efforts not only providing the regular work to our members but the numerous additional requests that came in.
We have offered our staff counselling, provided emergency funds to staff who have lost their homes and will be looking to offering some financial support to the bereaved. Also, we have pledged to donate £500 towards the cost of transport to an initiative that will support the children affected by this disaster during the summer period.
Rest assured that Westway CT will willingly do its part to help rebuild this community in the days, weeks and months ahead. Andrew Kelly, the Director, said, “ I feel so proud to be associated with such a wonderful and caring group of people, who once again have stepped up to the challenge and done all they can to support their colleagues, neighbours and friends”.
This terrible event has ruined the lives of so many in our community, but this will not stop us helping those in need. This community will always be spirited and its strength was evident in this time of crisis.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have contacted us with messages of support during this particularly difficult week.
You can also read this on Westway CT’s website here.