LONDON ACTOR LEADS RELIEF EFFORT FOR GRENFELL TOWER

This incredible account tells the story of one London actor who after heading to the Grenfell site to deliver clothing ended up becoming the head coordinator for the volunteer operation.

Picture credits: Headshot Unai Mateo Lopez & Ahmed Peerbux for Sadiq Khan and Abraham Chowdhury

On the morning of the 14th of June 2017, as the devastating fire raged over Grenfell Tower, Abraham Chowdhury ( Stage name Amith Rahman) sat and watched the news with utter disbelief.

Without a second thought, he and his wife packed up a suitcase of clothes and food and made their way to Notting Hill to donate. The tower was in full blaze as they wondered the streets in search of a donation point. Soon they noticed that people carrying bags and crates seemed to be headed in one particular direction so they followed until they reached the Westway centre. Strings of volunteers of every age, all members of the public were hard at work delivering bottled water, clothes, baby items, blankets. Abraham and his wife were not the only ones to have brought their child along, and children as young as 3 were helping to carry bags into the centre.

After some time, it became clear to Abraham, who has event management experience, that no one from the council or the charities had yet taken charge of the load of donations or volunteers that were already flooding in. It seemed only natural for him to offer his help and he soon was appointed head volunteer coordinator at the Westway Centre. Over the next 72 hours, with only 2 hours sleep and rest, Abraham led the local volunteers into creating a welcome shelter for the victims and survivors of the fire. Donations were listed and categorised, volunteers were registered and assigned shifts, and most importantly a sleeping area was set up in the gymnasium with the help and support of Westway. He welcomed Sadiq Khan, Prince William and her Majesty the Queen to the gymnasium to show them around, asking them to above all, recognise the efforts of all the local residents and volunteer who have given so much of their time and energy to help the victims.

Today, Abraham is still working on the ground, coordinating between locals, volunteers, celebrities and the council officials. Just yesterday he showed Adele around the centre. He is now working on organising a thank you event for all the volunteers and an Eid dinner for all those affected by the fire.

When asked about his effort he says

‘I couldn’t stand there and watch the news from home. I just felt compelled to do something and things just went from there. I just really want to help bridge the peace for everyone involved, and most importantly, make sure that the victims are being well looked after. I just feel this is the right thing to do, this could have been any of us. One thing this is for sure though, London is amazing, the communities have really got together for this and its uplifting.’

His agent, Fiona Cross states

‘We are immensely proud of Amith for the time and effort he has put into this. He’s selflessly poured  in his heart and soul. I started my agency hoping to be able to represent the role models of tomorrow. I now know that I have achieved that through him’

Picture credits: Headshot Unai Mateo Lopez & Ahmed Peerbux for Sadiq Khan and Abraham Chowdhury

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