Spoiler alert this is far more important than curry
Last Friday The Cube student accommodation in Bolton town centre burned down as many of you will have seen on the news. My son and his girlfriend both lived there so it has been a very stressful time for both of them and for all of the other students who were made homeless.
They also lost pretty much everything they owned, so for my son that meant some treasured Man City shirts and for others, many irreplaceable personal items. We are all thankful that loss of possessions is all we are talking about, it could have been so much worse. Had the fire started in the early hours of the morning, many would have not heard the fire alarms and the students who raised the alarm and alerted everyone, may have been asleep.
I will leave it the authorities to look into how the fire started and why the building’s fire containment totally failed. In terms of construction, we seemed to have completely ignored any lessons from Grenfell and that catastrophic night. One wonders what has to happen before anyone takes decisive action.
The response to the Cube fire from the Emergency Services, Bolton University, the businesses in the area and the people of Bolton has been totally brilliant. When I visited the emergency response area last weekend I was humbled by the efforts put in by the University team and the hundreds of volunteers. Their response over the lat week has been a perfect model to anyone who needs to plan for a large scale emergency and I want to say that from a parent’s perspective, you stepped up and looked after my son in a way that one would always hope for if you’re not there yourself when the worst happens. When a stranger looks after your family as though they were their own it means a lot.
From the moment he rang me to say he was outside looking at the burning building, to today, you have covered every angle, responding rapidly to the initial emergency, moving everyone to a place of safety, finding them emergency accommodation, clothing them, feeding them, replacing IT, reassuring them about their lessons and impact on future grades and instantly helping with any finances. You covered it all quickly, professionally and with huge heart and compassion. Thank you.
I knew he was safe before I knew there was a fire, he and his friends were fully supported and have been all week. I have seen some numpties on social media slagging off the Vice Chancellor for saying it wasn’t a University Building and taking some political stances on outsourcing. Bollocks! Learn the facts before you weigh in with the criticisms. The University have stepped in and provided instant financial, practical and emotional support in abundance even though it wasn’t their building.
So in no particular order I want to say thank you to Vice Chancellor George Homes, the staff of the University of Bolton, the hundreds of volunteers, Greater Manchester Emergency, Fire and Rescue Services, the Holiday Inn in Bolton centre, the students themselves for the way they coped, the Student Union team, anyone who was there who helped and of course the emotional support dog whose name escaped me.
Thank you – I owe you a beer (but please don’t all call at once).
Here are just a few images of the support in action…