The organiser of a benefit evening which will help a family whose home was gutted by fire says he is amazed by the public response to the appeal.
Almost everything in Chantelle Peterson’s home in Copperfield Close, Kettering, was destroyed in a blaze on Monday morning last week, just after she had left to go to work.
Her three children – then aged between six and 17 – were able to escape from the building but the family’s three dogs, whose barking had alerted the children to the fire, were not able to be saved.
A fundraising evening to help the family replace some of what was lost takes place tomorrow evening (Thursday, August 28) at the Beeswing pub in Rockingham Road.
The event has been organised by Chaz Lewis, from the Employment and Recreational Support Group, a free service run by volunteers to provide opportunities looking to boost their confidence and gain skills.
Chaz did not previously know the family but wanted to step in to help once he had heard of their plight.
He added: “I saw on Facebook what had happened. I’m unable to work myself but it’s something I knew I could organise.”
So far Chaz has received dozens of donations, including from abroad, to an online account he set up.
All the money will then be passed on to the Peterson family.
Chaz said: “The public have been so supportive. The family is just overwhelmed by it all. Hopefully this will ease the pain a little bit. It’s not just the fundraising – it’s taking their minds off it.”
He has already stepped in to arrange a family photo shoot, which took place Barton Hall earlier this week, and tonight’s event will include a presentation where the family will be handed what has been raised so far.
The benefit evening takes place at the Beeswing between 6pm and 10.30pm, with entertainment provided by singer Ricky Gordon and Quality Music Entertainment.
There will also be a raffle and tombola, and Chaz added: “Anyone and everyone can come along. It should be a really good evening.”
However, Chaz has refused to accept any credit for helping organise the benefit evening, saying: “As long as I can see smiles on their faces then that’s enough gratitude.”
For more information about the fundraiser, visit the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/copperfields.donationpage.
The event is not the only community initiative to help the family – a number of collection points for donations of clothes, toiletries and other household items were last week set up across Kettering, including at the Ladies First gym in Montagu Street.