Fire victim’s plea for public’s kind donations

Peter Gavin Eidsgard was one of the Sudbury fire victims who lost everything. He says he has not heard anything about the money raised for victims and is concerned for everyone who was involved and lost their homes. ANL-151013-190814009
Peter Gavin Eidsgard was one of the Sudbury fire victims who lost everything. He says he has not heard anything about the money raised for victims and is concerned for everyone who was involved and lost their homes. ANL-151013-190814009
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A man left with nothing after the devastating fire which ripped through Sudbury town centre last month says the victims desperately need the money from donations now.

Peter Gavin Eidsgard, who lived in Flat 3 above Javelin and the cobblers, has voiced concerns that even though thousands were raised, those affected have seen very little of the money.

“I think it’s appalling that all this money has been contributed by kind people and it is sitting in a trust,” he said.

“Things have been pretty rough but some people are in a much worse position than me.”

Mr Eidsgard had been living in the Hill Lodge Hotel in Sudbury, but has now self-funded a move to Bakers Mill in Great Cornard.

He said another gentleman who had lost everything, who was also in the Hill Lodge Hotel, was “scrimping” to afford to buy a £30 bed.

Mr Eidsgard says he speaks for many of the victims.

He added there had been very little communication with Babergh District Council.

“We are five-and-a-half weeks on from the fire, people don’t feel we are being taken care of,” he said.

Despite him making requests for full access to funds, he says Babergh had not contacted him for more than two weeks, adding there had been no contact to check on his welfare in this time.

He has been given £100 from the fund, which all victims have had access to, but he said: “We desperately need this money now.

“It’s terrible, if people realised this money is not being distributed. We are not used to begging for money.

“This is an emergency fund. People have lost absolutely everything. Insurance companies don’t cough up immediately.”

A spokeswoman for Babergh said that residents had access to the funds, with around £1,800 already distributed to 11 people.

The funds are currently being held by Sudbury Town Council, with a trust being set up to manage the funds.

The spokeswoman said all victims had been advised to get in touch with Babergh or Sudbury Town Council with any concerns or requests

“Babergh has been working closely with Sudbury Town Council and other local organisations to ensure all of the victims are supported through the immediate aftermath, and ensuing months, while work is undertaken to rebuild homes and businesses,” she said.

“If anyone is in need of further support we will be pleased to help them access donated funds currently held by Sudbury Town Council and, in due course, through the local Trust.

“We are also happy to offer people further guidance and advice to help them with the aftermath of the fire.

“Although not based in Sudbury, we have worked tirelessly to ensure staff are in Sudbury on a regular basis and people affected by the fire are able to contact us.”

In total £9,500 has been raised for the victims, with events continuing to take place to raise money.

Last week musician Robbie Gladwell raised thousands when he performed concerts in Lavenham and Sudbury, also auctioning off his guitars.