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Clacton: Community spirit “shines through” as people rally around to help victims of gas explosion

PUBLISHED: 18:34 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 22:44 05 February 2014

Tendring councillors Stephen Mayzes (L) and Danny Mayzes,  with Coppins Hall Community Centre manager Trisha Turner, helping to coordinate donations operation

Tendring councillors Stephen Mayzes (L) and Danny Mayzes, with Coppins Hall Community Centre manager Trisha Turner, helping to coordinate donations operation

Archant

Within hours of the gas explosion in Clacton this morning people from the community were getting together to see how they could help those affected.

The support efforts were being coordinated through a number of pages on social media website Facebook, where people were expressing their good wishes and pledging donations of household items, duvets, toiletries and non-perishable food. By 6pm, one Facebook page called ‘Support and donations for Clacton explosion victims’ had already generated more than 660 members.

Inspired by the community spirit online, district councillors for the Rush Green ward where the explosion took place, brothers Stephen and Danny Mayzes, had arranged for nearby Coppins Hall Community Centre, to be opened, so people had a place to drop off their donations.

“There needed to be an official response to what was going on on Facebook and there was a need to set up a donation centre,” said Danny.

“Things have moved quickly and we’ve already had lots of bags of useful items donated which will help people whose homes have been badly damaged.”

Manager at the community centre, Trisha Turner, was helping organise the operation while the councillors were meeting people as they arrived and unloading the donations as they came in.

Danny added: “While we can’t help directly in clearing up after the explosion as that is a job for the emergency services - we felt this would be a way of supporting people who have been made homeless by the incident.

“Rush Green may not be known for its affluence - and there are social issues in the ward - but what we do have is huge amounts of community spirit and that has shone through today.”

Mr Mayzes said the centre at Coppins Hall would be open again tomorrow from 9am.

A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.

Snow could fall in parts of Suffolk this morning as temperatures dropped overnight.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and University of Suffolk hope gaming and technology students will be inspired to pursue their games ideas, after it emerged the gaming industry is one of the fastest growing locally.

Police and firefighters were called to a suspected arson attack in Carlton Colville in the early hours of this morning.

Trains between London and Norwich are being cancelled this morning as a result of engineering work not having been completed on time.

Police are searching for a 52-year-old man from Leavenheath who has been reported missing.

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

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