‘The emergency services have been heroes. I don’t know why we don’t praise the people who have gone the extra mile,’ says The Entertainer’s Gary Grant.
When Grenfell Tower was engulfed in flames last week, no one could fathom that something so destructive could happen in the city of London.
The building block caught fire due to a fridge malfunction, which caused a number of devastating fatalities and casualties.
Since the damaging events, toy retailer The Entertainer has lent a helping hand after a church in the heart of the area contacted the firm’s founder and MD, Gary Grant, last Wednesday to see if they could help with moving some aid.
“People have been overwhelmingly generous and literally the collecting centres have been completely overrun by the sheer volume of the stuff that’s been donated,” Grant told ToyNews.
“So we got involved initially with sending a lorry into London and relieving them of some aid.”
Despite the retailer’s own efforts to help support the tragic event, Grant feels that praise is needed elsewhere, in particular for the UK’s emergency services and councils.
“The emergency services have been heroes. I don’t know why we don’t praise the people who have gone the extra mile.
“The council have come under a lot of flack but I have worked with councils in the last 48 to 72 hours, and they are absolutely flat out. Some of those guys have worked round the clock.
“I have seen them and the council have not had the right press, it feels like the media have ganged up on the council and they have fuelled the anger. The situation shouldn’t have happened but they have worked tirelessly.”
To help contribute to the crisis, The Entertainer has also given away gift vouchers to give children the option to go out and pick their favourite toys, which Grant feels is the right way to offer aid.
Grant continued: “If people generally want to make a difference to the lives of people that have been affected, then the Red Cross Grenfell Fire Appeal is the best way to do it, because the money can be directed to the right need.
“I’m sure in this massive pile of aid that’s being sorted now, there might be something for everybody in it, but it’s just finding it. It’s like a needle in a haystack.”
The retailer’s efforts truly are humbling, but more companies and members of the public are also now joining together to ensure they are helping as much as they can to support the victims of the Grenfell fire.
“I’m not the hero here, the emergency services and active councils guys are heroes,” added Grant.
“All I want to say is as a guy on the ground, just seeing a community sprit that exists and the way that people have really stepped up to the plate has been absolutely fantastic and absolutely amazing. I think as a country we’re quite resilient.”