A RESIDENT has been overwhelmed by the generosity of people from across south Essex after collecting a large number of donations for those so terribly affected by the tower block fire in West London.

Ian Reading and his wife Jane, of Main Road, Hockley, wanted to do their bit to help.

Mr Reading, who owns Bar Zero in Billericay, said: “I saw the news and just felt really heartbroken for these people. We all take everything for granted, I can’t imagine what it might be like to have to evacuate wearing just a dressing gown with nothing on your feet and think ‘I have nothing’.

“I put a note on Facebook saying we were collecting, just for my friends and it snowballed.

“We just had piles and piles of donations.”

In fact, the couple received so many donations they had to ask people to stop bringing them and shut their front gate but, yesterday morning when they opened it, there were even more donations.

Several people offered to help sort out the items and businesses offered to loan vans to take the donations up to London, with Affordable Removals, who had a lorry big enough to take all of the donations, driving them up there.

Mr Reading said: “We filled the lorry to the brim. There are clothes and shoes and toys, it’s unbelievable.

“We are really grateful.”