Following the horrific fire in West London that happened last week, I was left feeling extremely sad. In fact, I was so upset that I couldn’t even concentrate on my work. So last Thursday morning, I got on the overground and headed over to Notting Hill where I endeavored to see what help was needed.
I had read online that there were plenty of volunteers and that nothing else was needed. So I was a little unsure about going. But after going through the options, I decided to go and see if there really were plenty of volunteers. If I found that to be the case then I would just come back, but at least I would have tried. As it happened, I am glad I ignored the information online because help was most definitely needed.
I went straight to a donation center in a local church and immediately I got stuck into a job, as it was very apparent that plenty of volunteers were needed.
But what I really want to highlight in this blog is how amazing it was to see everyone working together. Despite the most awful of circumstances, I felt I was witnessing the very best of humanity.
While I was quickly packing up food boxes for the victims of the fire, I noticed that I was surrounded by people from different ethnic backgrounds and ages. It seemed that they felt like me – like they couldn’t just look at images on TV and do nothing. Even just being there, with people from all walks of life, was a way of showing the victims that we cared. It was really soothing for the local people who were just unbelievably sad.
Being there that day, I felt in my heart that humans are fundamentally good. The sheer number of people who had come to volunteer at various centers, highlighted to me that most people just want to help and care for other people. This is a thought I endeavor to hold onto whenever I next hear about a horrific event or a selfish individual – only interested in themselves and their own gains. This isn’t what most people are like. Most people care, are kind and want to do the right thing!
During my time volunteering in West London, I witnessed how just giving someone a hug or a smile, can make them feel happier. And I do believe that one happier person does make the world a better place.