London fire: The volunteers who flocked from near and far to help

a huge pile of full plastic bags Image copyright AFP
Image caption Donations piled up outside this church in Kensington

People have flocked from near and far to help at the site of the Grenfell Tower fire, with the volunteer effort organised by faith groups, social media and word of mouth. The BBC's Nalina Eggert spoke to some of the helpers.

In North Kensington, it is clear the response from ordinary people to the disaster has been overwhelming.

Boxes are piled up outside community centres and handwritten signs hang on fences offering help.

Among the police, NHS workers and community leaders on the streets are people who have given up their time to help.

Here are some of the volunteers' stories.

Reece Lusmore, from Gloucestershire

"I came down for the day to help out my friend and his mum, they've been down before.

"I've been here for four hours, handing out water, soft drinks and fruit .

"I had a bit of time off and decided to come down and help, keep people hydrated and keep the spirits up.

"What went on left me feeling a bit sick. I needed to help out.

"I came down not knowing what I'd be doing and how I'd be helping but became one of many hands."

Simone Bryan, from south-east London

"What motivated me? Humanity.

"When they said no more donations, I thought I'm going to come down myself and help. I couldn't just sit and watch the news.

"I've been sorting things out at a church. They don't have storage space. They're turning donations away because there's no space.

"Personally I think it needs to be organised by somebody.

"I want to keep helping later on - in a month, when people have their replacement accommodation."

Raabia Akhter, Shabnum Sadiq and Ammna Ahmed, from Slough

Image caption (L-R) Raabia Akhter, Shabnum Sadiq, Ammna Ahmed outside the Westway leisure centre

Raabia, Shabnum and Ammna filled a van with shower gel, shampoo, nappies and sanitary towels through donations from people in Slough, and distributed the supplies to community centres in the area near the tower block.

They organised it through Whatsapp and local schools, and contacted the recipients in advance, which is how they could keep making donations when most places had asked for no more items.

"We have been inundated," said Shabnum.

"We're hoping to come back next week and again after people get homes."

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