District Chairman of District13 London Margaret Fairlie at the time of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy was involved as a volunteer and could see first hand what Inner Wheel could do to help. It was evident there was enough food and clothing being donated, but money was needed and as District Chairman she felt she had to act quickly and organize fundraising events.
When she heard on the radio about the horrific fire, she was anxious to help and volunteered at the site the next day. The fire was in the District of Club Chelsea and Westminster, and as she was District Chairman she immediately set into action ideas to raise funds. At the time it was evident that the Grenfell Action Group had received enough food and clothing and it was money that was needed. As she worked there with other Church Ministers and other volunteers, the scene was devastating and the outpouring of empathy and love was overwhelming but the money was most needed.
District Membership Officer Rosemary Cone organized a fundraising appeal to all the Inner Wheel Districts and had a wonderful response, raising over £6000 and I organized two fundraising concerts - the first an open air orchestral concert with singers, the second an Opera Gala held at The Concert Artistes Association in Covent Garden. All the performers are professionals - working at the Royal Opera House and National Orchestras and gave their time and talents for free. Refreshments were also donated free by the Caterer of the CAA. Presidents of District 13 were on hand to help collect donations at both events, the District Executive were counting, and these concerts raised over £3700 and with donations still coming in we have reached £10,000!
The concerts were adorned with Inner Wheel Banners, leaflets and balloons acknowledging Inner Wheel’s involvement and message of Friendship and Service, enacting what we do all over the world. It was so worthwhile and a privilege to help.
Letters of sympathy and support from other Districts, Australia, California and around Britain have been lovely to receive and greatly appreciated.The fire at Grenfell is still affecting peoples lives, causing many problems. The money raised will be sent through Inner Wheel where it’s most needed.