The British Red Cross began working with Thames Ward Community Project (TWCP), residents and the London Fire Brigade to create a series of workshops to develop a fire safety action plan with residents in response to the tragic fire in 2019.
On 9th June 2019, the Barking Riverside community in Thames Ward experienced a rapidly spreading fire, that affected more than 30 families, leaving those families displaced. Many community groups including the BRC and TWCP supported residents immediately after the fire.
The BRC and TWCP have recently organised a community day event, which took place on 1st October in Barking Riverside’s Rivergate Centre, and two fire action plan workshops on the 4th October and 29th November.
Each event has brought together local service providers and residents, one being the London Fire Brigade. At the community day event, families were excited to interact with the fire trucks and meet the firefighters who shared helpful advice in relation to fire preparedness. The event was also supported by the Coop at Minter Road who donated refreshments.
Both fire workshops were also well attended by local residents, with the most recent especially engaging families with local entertainment. The 29th November was a guided workshop where residents were invited to share ideas to help create the fire safety action plan for the community. Findings from the previous workshop on October 4th, were also reviewed. The evening continued food catered by the Good Food Collective and a showcase of local providers and performers including: art work by Emmanuel Oreyeni @oreyeni_arts, an experimental art workshop by University College London, and live spoken word by local poet Romeo Murisa @spokenwithvision.
The BRC and TWCP will continue to engage and connect with the community to improve resilience-building in the community and fire safety with the hopes of finalising a Community Fire Safety Action Plan that can provide direction on reducing fire risk as well as leveraging support from housing developers, LFB and other stakeholders in the community for fire protection and prevention efforts.