Grenfell charity single: ‘I refuse to forget you’

“I refuse to forget you, I refuse to be silenced, I refuse to neglect you…
That could have been my mum’s house or that could have been me up their”

The track is a spin on the Simon and Garfunkel classic track Bridge Over Troubled Water and features more than 50 stars including grime artist Stormzy, Robbie Williams, Celine Dion and Craig David. Paul McCartney, Brian May and Roger Daltrey are also among the vocallists contributing, with other lines sung by Rita Ora, Pixie Lott, Ella Eyre and Paloma Faith. Pianist Tokio Myers, who recently won Britain’s Got Talent, has recorded part of the single, as have Bastille, James Blunt and One Direction members Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.

The song is led by choirmaster Gareth Malone, who directs a 300 -strong choir on the single as well as a local community choir, some of whose participants were directly affected by the fire.

It was recorded at west London’s Sarm Studios, half a mile away from the Grenfell Tower site. Simon Cowell has also donated £100,000 to the Grenfell foundation himself.

Rap artist Stomzy has written an introductory verse to the single which features the lines:

“I don’t know where to begin/So I’ll start by saying I refuse to forget you/I refuse to be silenced/I refuse to neglect you”.


Courage not only to survive, but to rebuild their shattered lives

Today is World Refugee Day which is observed on 20th of June annually throughout the world. It is celebrated to support refugees and migrants and raise awareness of the situation of refugee and to stop discrimination of refugee. So often the world sits idly by, watching ethnic conflicts flare up, as if these were mere entertainment rather than human beings whose lives are being destroyed. Shouldn’t the existence of even one single refugee be a cause for alarm throughout the world?

There are many challenges facing the international community today but few, in my mind, are more pressing than those of finding humanitarian solutions to refugee problems. We talk of regional conflicts, of economic and social crises, of political instability, of abuses of human rights, of racism, religious intolerance, inequalities between rich and poor, hunger, over-population, under-development and. I could go on and on. Each and every one of these impediments to humanity’s pursuit of well-being are also among the root causes of refugee problems.

While every refugee’s story is different and their anguish personal, they all share a common thread of uncommon courage – the courage not only to survive, but to persevere and rebuild their shattered lives. World Refugee Day is an important opportunity to remind us about the ongoing plight of millions of refugees around the world.

If you could invent something that would safe lives would you?

A working smoke detector cuts your risk of dying in a house fire in half. Most homeowners know you should change a smoke detector battery twice a year when you change the clocks for Daylight Saving Time. But what if I told you that many elderly or the disabled find this simple task impossible which puts their life in danger, simply because it’s not safe to climb a ladder to change a battery.

Most, if not all fire and rescue services offer what is commonly known as a Safe and Well visit, some fire and rescues may still call them Home Fire Risk Assessments or Home Fire Safety Checks. They can sound daunting to many people, especially the elderly.

A Safe and Well visit consists of members of your local fire and rescue service visiting your home, at a time convenient to yourself, to carry out an inspection of your home. The visit may be carried out by firefighters who are operational, so don’t be surprised if a fire engine arrives at your home.

Question! If you could design something that would prevent your smoke alarm beeping despite no smoke or fire, or to just simply make life easier to change a battery for the elderly, would you?

Colin’s parents lived in Staffordshire’s fire service area, so contacted that brigade and they carried out the HFRA. Few months after the inspection their smoke alarm kept beeping for now reason. Both were elderly and frail it was difficult to get access to the smoke alarm on the ceiling. So his Dad got a hammer apparently one night and smashed the smoke alarm off the ceiling. Leaving them unprotected.

So one night looking up at the ceiling Colin suddenly thought why could the we not simply lower the alarm down? which would make life easier for everyone not just the elderly. He found a corn flakes box and designed something that might work. Research took some time, and the patent process was started. Finally he prove his idea, and a metal prototype unit was manufactured. It was placed onto his ceiling, it worked, he could lower down the alarm to a safe working height, (locked in place) and then retract the alarm back to the ceiling. It sounds sound simple – yet nobody has come up with this idea before.

Colin said:

‘Retractalarm has been designed to be gently retracted back to the ceiling, being designed for the elderly and infirm I asked the test house to carry out the tests not gently retracting my unit with the alarm fitted but to just let it smash back as if it had been let go by accident. Reports proved my unit worked to its destruction,( the smoke alarms were still working after this testing) enough times to give retractalarm a life of ten years – We finally were awarded our patent.

After doing our own market research with the elderly and fire services, I was told I could make a lot of money from this idea. I replied – I’m not interested in money, that was and never would be my motivation, to help save a life is reward enough.’

RetractAlarm is a simple device that fits to your smoke alarm, enabling you to maintain, test, clean or replace the batteries quickly and easily, no more climbing up steps, no more balancing on furniture, no more standing on one leg leaning over the bannister!

Simply pull down your smoke alarm to your level and RetractAlarm will lock in place. Change the batteries, clean it, test it and when you’ve finished, a short pull down on the unit, and RetractAlarm will retract back to the ceiling….easy!

After all, why should saving your life be just out of reach?

You can Follow Retract Alarm on Twitter – @Retractalarm

Colin and son, Stuart Wills at the RetractAlarm stand Emergency Services Show


British firefighters earns £29,345 to £32,533 – British MP earns £67,060 to £74,000. Fair isn’t it?

Firefighters provide an all hazard emergency response attending floods, road traffic collisions, chemical spillages, civil contingencies, industrial disasters and terrorist attacks as well as fires. Last year firefighters rescued a staggering 40,000 people. Discussions are ongoing about what further work firefighters can do in the future, as the risks to our communities change. Cutting a service that is doing some much more makes no sense. The fire service costs each of us just £50 per year. That’s amazing value for a professional lifesaving service. Many of us wouldnt,t be here today without them.

Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, said:

“Thanks to the government, there are now ten thousand fewer firefighters across the UK to save people’s lives at fires, floods, car crashes, building collapses, lift rescues, road traffic accidents and industrial disasters. The public deserve a first-rate emergency service, not one that has been unrelentingly slashed to the bone.

“Politicians seem to justify the unprecedented cuts by repeating the line that there are fewer fires nowadays. This masks the real work the fire and rescue service undertake – 90% of the rescues they undertake are at non-fire emergencies. The modern-day fire and rescue service is an all hazard emergency service – one that needs to be funded properly.”

According to FBU statistics 9,668 firefighter jobs have been axed across the UK since 2010 as central government funding to the service has been cut by 30%.* An FBU analysis earlier this year found that central government funding is likely to be cut by a further 20% by the end of the current parliament.

The starting salary for a trainee firefighter is £22,017. When full competence is achieved, this rises to £29,345. Higher rates apply for overtime. Crew manager salaries range from £31,189 (development) to £32,533 (competent).

The basic annual salary for an MP was increased from £67,060 to £74,000 on 31 July 2015, backdated to 8 May 2015. In addition, MPs are able to claim allowances to cover the costs of running an office and employing staff, and maintaining a constituency residence and a residence in London.

With the recent attacks on Manchester then the terrible Glenfell Tower Fire, prehaps The Prime Minister should be increasing the Emergency Services wages and hiring not cutting numbers to save our lives.

What do you think?


Firefighter @crispymick writes his name on Helmet #GrenfellTowerFire as #socialmedia have #HeartsofGold #Charity

Mick‏ @crispymick ”You know it’s not going to be good when your told to write your name on you helmet before you go in!”

A firefighter who tackled the Grenfell Tower blaze has given a harrowing insight into the scale of the “unprecedented incident” that left at least 17 people dead.  Death toll ‘will sadly increase’, police say. Nearly 80 people treated in six hospitals.

The man, known only as Mick, posted a picture of his helmet on social media with the caption: “You know it’s not going to be good when you’re told to write your name on your helmet before you go in.”

It is thought that fire crews were told to write their names on helmets so they could be quickly identified if anything went wrong as they tackled the blaze. Alongside his name, Mick had written “A33” on his helmet – which is understood to be the code for Tottenham Fire Station.

London fire crews worked through the night to dampen deadly fire and  Dogs sent in to search for Grenfell Tower fire victims

Messages of praise for the crew member and his colleagues who were called to the inferno in the Lancaster West Estate in the early hours of Wednesday began to pour in since the post went live. Dozens of Twitter users responded, thanking firefighters and officers who attended for their bravery.

Extraordinary hearts of gold brought together pop stars, celebrity chefs and even the wife of former prime minister David Cameron. Also joining Samantha Cameron were Jamie Oliver and Lily Allen, also hundreds of volunteers and neighbours of all races, ages and class. Churches and community centres opened their doors from first light to accommodate those rescued from the blazing building and evacuated from surrounding homes.  Mrs Cameron, who lives with her husband close to Grenfell Tower, is understood to have joined volunteers at Notting Dale’s St Francis of Assisi church, where she was seen handing out bottles of water.

The Anglican Area Dean for Kensington, the Reverend Mark O’Donoghue, said:

“Its been a very London response, with people of all faiths and social class trying to help. This disaster has brought out the best in people.”

One of his churches, St Clement of Notting Dale, was contacted by the chef at designer Stella Macartney’s nearby studio who came in to cook lunch for those gathered inside.

Many people are unaccounted for, and loved ones have appealed on social media for information with messages across Twitter offering help from all back grounds, and strangers with hearts of gold.

London’s Muslim community rallied to provide aid and support to #GrenfellTower fire victims

#GrenfellTower firefighters are ‘true heroes’ says @LondonFire chief Dany Cotton ‘at no stage did they waver’ 

To let your loved ones know your alive or your still searching for your missing family or friends please call The Met Police emergency casualty bureau number – 0800 0961 233




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