A SUNDERLAND councillor has praised the generosity of people across the city, after they rallied together to raise money for elderly residents impacted by a care home fire.

Councillor Rebecca Atkinson, Labour member for Barnes ward and housing and regeneration cabinet member for the council, has applauded the efforts of residents and businesses in the city, who have leapt to the aid of Croft Care Home in Ettrick Grove.  The home was badly damaged by fire on Friday, which saw six residents taken to hospital for medical attention.

Sunderland residents quickly started a fundraising effort, and a number of businesses have pledged their support too.  Rebecca quickly mobilised after Friday’s fire too, working with members of the community to secure support that will pay for replacement clothes and household items for those whose belongings were damaged or destroyed in the blaze.

Among the kind donations Rebecca was able to collect included £800 worth of supplies from Asda Grangetown, which she personally delivered to staff at Croft Care Home.

Cllr Atkinson said: “After what has been the toughest period imaginable for many of our elderly residents and their carers, this blaze has been absolutely devastating for everyone at Croft Care Home.

“However, as they have done throughout the COVID crisis – and now in response to this horrendous fire – people have rallied together to lend a hand, and we have seen vital fundraising efforts to ensure that those impacted are supported.  The kindness of people has really shone through and I’d like to say a special thank you to Emily Whittington, who organised Asda’s generous donation.  Like the lovely team at Croft Care Home, I am absolutely blown away by the generosity of people and businesses in the city.”

Cllr Atkinson, who grew up just a street away from Ettrick Grove, has been over to the home to lend a hand since the blaze ripped through the building on Friday morning.  She is returning this week to offer further support.

“For many residents who have lost clothes and personal belongings, this will have been a devastating time.  Hopefully the acts of kindness displayed over the last few days will show them just how much everyone cares – I’ve been totally blown away by the way people have come together to help, and I am sure the residents at Croft will feel the same.

“I too wanted to do something positive.  As a councillor, I think it’s important that we support our communities – that we take positive action to help rather than stand and watch as our community rallies together.  When people work together, amazing things happen, and what we have seen over the last few days has been nothing short of inspiring.”

Thirty people were inside the building at the time the fire was first reported, and more than 40 firefighters attended the scene.