Former Grenfell Tower resident launches fundraiser for Croydon woman living in squalor

A former Grenfell Tower resident has launched a fundraiser for the occupant of a squalid Croydon flat.

Shirene Torrance-Dodd, 48, created the gofundme for Fransoy Hewitt after she watched the shocking story on ITV.

Last month ITV News revealed the extent of mould and leaks in Hewitt’s Croydon council flat, where she lived with her two sons.

The fundraiser aims to raise £10,000 to provide Hewitt and her sons with furniture, bedding and other household items for their new home.

Torrance-Dodd said: “Her sons, their whole self-esteem, the way they feel about themselves, the way they communicate is really based in home.

“When they grow into men, that’s still going to be in them. Home should be a safe, warm place.

“It’s not just them, it’s thousands of children, all up and down the country that are living in these conditions and no one seems to care.

“How can we live in a country like that, in a society like that, it just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Torrance-Dodd cited her inspiration as another story on ITV News, that showed how a community raised £200,000 for the victim of an arson attack.

The former Grenfell Tower resident worked as a residents’ liaison officer for the Grenfell Tenant Management Organisation, and was herself homeless for a time.

She now works as an entrepreneur and life coach for young children and lives on Cranbrook Road, Ilford.

Torrance-Dodd added that working as the liaison officer, it was clear that residents felt their concerns were not heard.

Part of the problem, she suggested, is that council officers lives are often remote to residents.

She said: “They don’t seem to understand what it’s actually like.”

Of Croydon Council, Torrance-Dodd asked how they were going to remedy the conditions.

In a press statement, the Leader of Croydon Council Hamida Ali said: “There is absolutely no excuse for the situation we put those residents in, and for that, I am truly sorry.”

Croydon Council have since launched an independently chaired housing inquiry to understand how what happened in the Regina Road flats.

The council is undertaking a review of conditions at all 16 of the borough’s similar high-rise housing blocks.

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