Home Kent News Community rallies to donate items and thousands of pounds to blast victims

Community rallies to donate items and thousands of pounds to blast victims

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Original article from Kent Live

Residents have rallied round to donate essential items and thousands of pounds to people affected by the huge explosion in Ashford.

Three properties were badly damaged when a huge blast shook the entire neighbourhood around Mill View, Willesborough, just before 8am yesterday (May 4).

Two people suffered serious injuries including 99-year-old grandmother Ethel Hanford, who was rescued from rubble by local builders father and son Andy and Harry Hodges.

On a dramatic day, the nearby church was set up as a rest centre, while the local pub he William Harvey provided hundreds of sandwiches to evacuated residents and emergency workers free of charge.

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Now local residents are also using the power of social media to provide further support.

A JustGiving page set up by a popular local Facebook group has already raised closed to £5,000 at the time of writing.

Organiser Ben Farnham wrote: "We want to help all involved in the gas explosion.

"At a time when you lose everything this will help.

"As a strong believer in local community every little donation will help them work their way to get back on their feet – horrible scenes and no fault of their own.

"On behalf of Ashford Read All About It I thank you for your donation and wish all involve a speedy recovery."

A Facebook page has also been set up specifically for donations for clothes and other essentials.

It's already received hundreds of posts with offers of everything from clothes to furniture.

Nigel Dalby is leading efforts and has secured storage space at both the Willesborough Women's Institute building and Lok'nStore Self Storage, both free of charge.

Emma Ellis-Nash, who runs the Women's Institute building which opens at 2pm to begin storing items, told KentLive: "Everyone's coming together in the most amazing way.

"It's really heart warming.

"There's been a bit of a divide in Ashford in recent times but the reaction from everyone to this awful event has been a breath of fresh air."

A relative of the people seriously injured said both are expected to recover, while five others were injured less seriously and several lost their homes.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Original Article