Londoners are urged to keep up support for Grenfell fire victims

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Author Zadie Smith’s brother has urged generous Londoners to keep supporting the charities that are helping shelter young victims of the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Actor and comedian Ben Bailey Smith, a London charity and youth worker for a decade before going into showbusiness, asked Londoners to think about setting up a direct debit for the price of a couple of coffees to help the community “regenerate”.

Bailey Smith formerly ran a charity in Kilburn for the children of asylum seekers without legal British status, and then worked for Southwark council with young offenders rebuilding their lives after jail sentences for knife violence.

He starred alongside Ricky Gervais in David Brent: Life On The Road and now appears in a new short YouTube film about homelessness called Nadia.

The actor, whose rapper stage name is Doc Brown, said: “No one’s asking you to give up all your time or money. But it doesn’t really matter if you buy a jumper or a pair of shoes to help the victims of the Grenfell fire, it’s something.

“Whether they’re needed or not you at least did more than nothing.

“Just think what is the least you could do, whether that’s setting up a direct debit with Shelter just for £5 a month, because think what you waste £5 on every day. I’m talking about people who are in a position to do it. Ironically a large amount of support for smaller charities comes from people who are not wealthy at all but they feel they’ve got the basics of food, shelter and clothing.”

Kilburn-born Bailey Smith, 39, added: “Being a born-and-bred Londoner we get a bad rap from the UK for being either snobs or living in a bubble or being unfriendly or unkind, and I dispute all of those things.

“When you meet a genuine Londoner you meet someone who is very aware of their surroundings, very open to difference and diversity and very forward-thinking in how they treat other human beings.

“It’s what London does best, we regenerate and we’ve come back from way worse than this.”


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