Fundraising appeal to help victims of Walnut Tree fire in Milton Keynes tops £6,700

The fundraising effort to support victims of last week’s Walnut Tree fire has raised nearly £7,000.

By Olga Norford
Monday, 25th July 2022, 1:21 pm

Donations have poured in to help after the blaze destroyed Kiddi Caru day nursery and three houses during the heatwave last Tuesday.

The children were safely evacuated and emergency centres set up for residents who had to flee their homes.

On Wednesday the Walton Community Support Project, a registered charity, launched a special appeal to raise cash for those affected with a JustGiving page aiming to raise £2,000. However the fund raised more than £1,200 within hours.

Three homes were destroyed and others smoke damaged in the Walnut Tree fire last week

Charlie Deycon, chair of the board of trustees, said: “We are now up to over £6,700 and have a pledge from Tesco to give us another £2,000 or so from 15 stores collections, which they will hand over to me on August 1.

He added: “I spent a couple of hours with around 40 or 50 residents yesterday and was given a tour of the destruction by accessing the scene through a resident’s garden.

“Three homes have been completely destroyed but other residents have also been affected – 15 other houses have fire damage and gardens have been destroyed. And other families are also without food because of cuts to the gas and electric.

“The money raised will help those most in need further down the line but on Friday, together with MK Snap we gave out £6,000 worth of food donated by Tesco. We also ferried food to a family who couldn’t reach us and donated a fridge to a hotel where a family are in temporary accommodation. The local fish & chips shop has also pledged help. It’ a real sense of community.”

The Walnut Tree fire badly damaged the Kiddi Caru nursery

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of so many,” he added. “I say overwhelmed, but in reality we are not surprised. We knew that people would rally around and this is just another example of humanity at its very finest. Thank you all so much from all of us.”

The charity, which has been working to provide families with food parcels, is now hoping to secure funding from Milton Keynes Council to set up a permanent food bank.

And Charlie is now quietly confident the appeal will reach £10,000.

Visit the JustGiving page if you want to help.