England

London attack: Good Samaritans help with #SofaForLondon

Holly Robinson, George Moss and Mary Lynch Image copyright PA
Image caption Holly Robinson, left, and Mary Lynch gave up their spare room in London to stranger George Moss

Londoners are offering shelter and comfort to those affected by the terror attack on the capital by sharing the hashtag #SofaForLondon on social media.

Taxi drivers provided free rides from the cordons around London Bridge and Borough Market that left many cut off.

Places of worship across many faiths joined pubs, hotels and businesses in providing food and shelter.

Strangers reached out on social media offering a cuppa, chat or spare bed for the night.

Latest updates: London attack

Image copyright PA
Image caption Guests from the Premier Inn Bankside Hotel were evacuated onto Upper Thames Street after the terrorist attack

George Moss, 22, was taken in by friends Holly Robinson and Mary Lynch, who had tweeted that strangers with nowhere else to stay could go to their home in Vauxhall.

Mr Moss, who had lost his mobile phone, was unable to get home after police put a cordon between Borough Market and Elephant and Castle.

He borrowed a phone from a journalist to let his parents know he was safe and spotted #SofaForLondon on Twitter.

"After that I went towards Vauxhall and found Holly and Mary who very kindly gave me a place to stay," he said.

"I would have been in a pickle, I wouldn't have anywhere else to go."

Ms Lynch, 23, originally from Nottingham, said: "If I had been in that situation I would want to know that people were going to open up their homes."

Ms Robinson, from Birmingham, added: "You have to give whatever you can, whenever you can."

Image copyright Radek Malis
Image caption Radek Malis, barman at the Royal Oak pub in Southwark, said staff gave shelter to around 150 people

Staff at the Royal Oak pub in Tabard Street, Southwark said they gave shelter to around 150 people following the attacks.

"There were people standing in the street who were evacuated from hotels nearby or who couldn't get back so we invited them in," said barman Radek Malis.

"There were families with children, people were pretty shocked a lot of them didn't speak English, they were foreigners visiting.

"Everyone was just sitting and trying to make sense of things. We had about 150 people in here and they stayed until about 3am."

Image copyright Radek Malis
Image caption The Royal Oak pub in Southwark opened its doors to those affected by terror attacks on London Bridge and Borough Market

Neil Coyle, Labour candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, was just minutes away from the scene of the attack and said the response from Londoners was "amazing".

He praised "the cabbies who offered free rides, the hotels offering accommodation and people just offering a spare room, a sofa for the evening or somewhere just to charge a mobile phone".

Anthony Myers tweeted a heart-warming offer to "anyone caught up in" the terror attacks: "Tea, salt and vinegar crisps and comfy cushions. All the essentials. #sofaforLondon #LondonBridge".

Image copyright Anthony J Myers
Image caption Anthony Myers offered "all the essentials" to those caught up in the London attacks

The Makersville bike workshop in Hackney tweeted: "#sofaforlondon heads up guys - if you're stuck, let us know."

Singer and broadcaster Mo Ansar tweeted: "Mosques, churches, temples and gurdwaras are open for the public in London. Seek shelter, food and safety if you need it."

Rachael Crawford, 19, from Bedford tweeted for help to find the bags she left in panic at the Slug and Lettuce pub when it was evacuated following the London Bridge attack.

She said: "I was having a drink with my boyfriend at 10pm when this guy was saying that there had been gunshots and then there were police in there telling everyone to get out and just run so that's what we did.

"I left my bags in panic and I couldn't get back as it was too dangerous. I just hope they're still there."

Image caption Amir Eden became stranded after police redirected him away from home but was able to stay with a friend

Amir Eden, chairman of the Bankside Residents' Forum, said he was walking home when armed police told pedestrians to "run away as far as we can".

He was not able to get home due to the police cordon but managed to contact a friend and stay there.

He said: "I found a kebab shop to charge my phone in case I needed some battery and then I was able to come across the Millennium Bridge and ask my friend Andrew if I could stay at his."

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