10 Sep 2017
Devastating fires in both the United Kingdom and South Africa motivated Macquarie staff members to rally together in support of those affected in their local communities.
London-based staff members Camilla Bath and Alison Waugh responded immediately when they heard about the Grenfell Fire disaster which tragically resulted in the deaths of 80 people and injured many more.
“London has had a tough year and although all incidents have been tragic, the Grenfell Tower fire really shook us and we wanted to help,” says Camilla. “We opened a Just Giving page where we were able to encourage our colleagues to support this cause we so strongly believed in.”
Staff reached the initial target of £2,000 on the first day. “We didn’t expect such generous donations to flood in especially when we had originally set the target at £2,000,” says Alison. In a short period of time that followed, 130 staff members raised over £7,000 which was matched by the Macquarie Group Foundation, taking the total donated to over £14,000. The funding was donated to survivors, surviving families and local community organisations providing support.
The fire in Knysna was the largest and most destructive fire in a built-up area in the Western Cape of South Africa and left thousands of residents displaced. Up to 20 suburbs were affected, with an estimated 10,000 people evacuated in Knysna.
“As soon as we heard about the Knysna disaster we started thinking about ways we could help with the immediate needs of a community that had basically lost everything,” Anneli Meyer from Macquarie’s Johannesburg Community Advisory Committee said.
The committee reached out to staff members who responded by donating over 100 items including warm clothes, blankets and non-perishable food. The Knysna Fire Disaster Relief Fund gratefully received and distributed the items to those displaced or affected by the fire.
Image caption: Items donated by Macquarie staff members to the Knysna Fire Disaster Relief Fund.