Redwood Grove appeal reaches halfway mark in just three days

Image: Ben Sturge

An appeal to raise money for Bedfordians affected by the Redwood Grove explosion on Monday (4 July) has reached the halfway mark in just three days.

Donate to the official Redwood Grove JustGiving page here

Hearing that around 30 families were left with “absolutely nothing”, an official appeal was set up by Shirley Claxton, community centre manager at Scott Hall, Mel Stratton at Love in a Bag Bedford and local philanthropist, Ben Sturge.

“We felt it was important to start a page to support the many, not just a few,” said Mel Stratton.

“As always, the kindness of the people of Bedford has been just amazing. It is so heartwarming to live in a town where we all look after each other in times of need.”

Mel added, “the money raised from this Just Giving campaign will be used to help support all those affected by Monday’s tragic events, and target exactly what may be needed once the families start to get back on their feet.”

At the time of publication, 54% of the £10,000 target had been raised with £5,416 donated by 189 people.

Toiletries, clothes and other items are also needed

Speaking to the Bedford Independent on Tuesday, Shirley Claxton said there had been an amazing response from the community with donations of toiletries and other items.

Read: Justgiving page aims to raise £10,000 to support Redwood Grove residents

“We’ve had around 50 people turn up to volunteer to help sort out the donations and have already taken six car loads to the Bunyan Centre to be distributed to the affected families.”

If you would like to donate toiletries or other items, they can be taken to the back gates of the Scott Hall Community Centre between 10am and 6pm.

If you have any questions you can contact the community centre directly on 07742016465.

Donations at Scott Hall Community Centre for Redwood Grove appeal
Donations that have been dropped off at Scott Hall Community Centre. Image: Scott Hall Community Centre/Facebook

Unofficial fundraisers

The official fundraiser was set up in partnership with the Bedford Kindness platform because Mel says “people would then know it was genuine and the money would get to exactly where it needs to go.”

She added, “there had been a few personal fundraisers popping up across Facebook and we all know that sometimes people use incidents such as these to exploit people’s kindness and we wanted to ensure that didn’t happen.”

The advice is to always be sure you’re donating to a fundraiser that will direct your money to where you’d like it to go.

If in doubt, always contact the official fundraiser or coordinator of an appeal via details provided by Bedford Borough Council or shared in local media.