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Fund set up for people affected by Oakridge Road fire

News release 10378, published on 31 May 2023

A fund has been launched for people wanting to help those affected by the fire that destroyed homes in Basingstoke at the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, fire crews were called to the blaze at the properties in Oakridge Road that affected 24 homes.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council worked closely with VIVID housing association to ensure that all those people affected by the fire were found somewhere safe to stay over the bank holiday weekend. Those who hadn’t arranged to stay with friends and family were found emergency accommodation.

In response to lots of offers of help from the community for those who lost their homes and possessions in the fire, Basingstoke Voluntary Action has worked with the council to set up a fund for those who need help. This has now gone live through a Charities Aid Foundation donate page that can be reached via the BVA website at https://www.bvaction.org.uk/oakridge-road-fire-fund

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Leader Cllr Paul Harvey said: “It was amazing to see the way that the local community came together to support those affected by the fire. People immediately started to offer to donate things that the people who had lost everything in the fire might need to help them through the immediate aftermath and as they start to put their lives back together in the weeks to come.

“This is incredibly generous and says so much about the people of our town and borough and how much they care for others. Together with VIVID, we have been working to ensure that the people involved are supported and have what they need, but this fund is a way the community can give their help support them through this difficult time, if they want to. We have already heard of fundraising events being set up in the community.”

Chief Executive of Basingstoke Voluntary Action Tony Capon said: “We know that people are keen to show their support and offer things they think may be needed. This is so kind and caring. However, there will be a variety of different things that those affected need, so this fund is the best way of supporting them, rather than donations of items that they may not need. We understand that there will be people that want to get involved but can’t afford to donate directly and would encourage them to volunteer for fundraising activities as an alternative way of showing support. We will work with the council and VIVID to get the money raised to the people who most need it to give them extra support.”

VIVID is assessing the damage to all of the properties to see whether some of them will be safe for residents to return and will be arranging alternative longer-term accommodation for tenants that need it.  The council is liaising with the people who are not VIVID tenants and cannot go back to their home to support them in finding somewhere else to live. Housing officers have been assigned to these households to make sure they have everything they need and a point of contact to help them.

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