Northfleet cargo company rally round to take donations to Grenfell Tower residents

PUBLISHED: 14:57 16 June 2017

The Grenfell Tower fire has claimed at least 30 lives. Picture: AP Matt Dunham

The Grenfell Tower fire has claimed at least 30 lives. Picture: AP Matt Dunham

Mischa Saag

Fleet-Hire have received hundreds of donations within two days

A Northfleet cargo company dedicated two working days to taking donations to victims of the Grenfell Tower blaze, on June 14.

Marie Ripley, who runs Fleet-Hire, and friends rallied round creating a donation bank for Gravesham residents, and then made numerous trips to the Kensington tower with hopes of offering “as much help as we possibly could.”

Ms Ripley, said: “We literally received hundreds of donations from local people. Children were bringing toys and one woman brought hundreds of blankets that she’d previously knitted herself. We did it because we just thought it would be a nice gesture, and we had so much stuff that on Wednesday night we didn’t get home until after 1am.

“We heard that donations were being turned away on Thursday, but luckily when we were there on Wednesday we met people who lived there, exchanged numbers and were able to ring them to find out exactly what they need and where to meet them the following day.”

Though quiet on the journey there, Ms Ripley claims there are still hundreds of people gathering nearby the tower.

She said: “There were firemen, police, ambulance services, as well as neighbours and residents all gathered.

“The atmosphere there is really strange. As you get nearer to the site you can feel a sense of change in the air, and everything smells toxic.

“Speaking with people you can hear the affect it’s had on them. One young woman hasn’t left the scene since the fire started, and another was telling us her friend’s seven-month-old died and her two other children are in intensive care as a result of the fire.”

At the moment 30 people have officially been announced as dead, with the number expected to rise.

“Some of the people there were telling us that they couldn’t have been luckier to be celebrating Ramadan,” added Ms Ripley. “They were praying outside the residence at the time, and if they hadn’t of been, they too could have died. They’ve been really lucky.

“All I can say is that I’m a mother and grandmother, and I come from a big family, and I honestly can’t imagine what those families with people dead or missing are going through.”

Latest News


Winter arrivals Heino Kuhn and Matt Henry helped Kent beat Durham in Division Two

The NSPCC’s top man visited a Gravesend primary school to see how the charity is helping to keep children safe from abuse.

Yesterday, 15:56

A hospice worker from Gravesend is delighted to have received an invitation to next month’s Royal Wedding.

Yesterday, 09:44

A friendly dragon flew into The Priory Shopping Centre on Saturday as Dartford celebrated St George’s Day.

Mon, 16:58

Gravesham Borough Council will begin an eight-week public consultation this month, to give everyone the chance to have their say about where development might occur in the future.

Mon, 10:10

A body was discovered yesterday (Sunday April 22) near Thames Way, Gravesend.

Most read


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder