Like many other people I was very moved by the dignity of the Reeves family in the face of what must be an horrendous time for them in the last couple of days. For anyone who is not aware, they own the family run "House of Reeves" furniture store in Croydon which was burnt to the ground on Monday as a result of the riots that took place.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
The shop has been in their family for almost 150 years and it was burnt down in only a few hours. I suspect that building ablaze for a long time before fire-crews could get to it (because their safety could not be guaranteed) will become a symbol of this period of civil unrest.
I felt compelled to try and do something to help the Reeves family and to demonstrate that there are lots of people in this country who also want to help. They have already indicated that they intend to rebuild their shop which I find immensely heartening so I have set up a Pledge Bank page where I have pledged a small amount of money to contribute towards this and am asking others to pledge what they can too.
I have already had people asking me whether they are insured and I am not yet clear on what the situation is there but irrespective of that I thought this was a good way of showing solidarity with them at this dreadful time. Also, I know that insurance can take a long time to come through whereas I have set a deadline of two and a half weeks on this pledge to reach 1,000 people to give a small amount each which would I am sure be of good practical use to them in the meantime.
I suspect lots of other initiatives to help other business in particular and generally affected by the riots will be underway soon too and I will donate what I can to those too and would encourage everyone else to do so as well. I just felt this was a specific way to help one of the most visible symbols of the riots be restored.