Support staff and their families evacuated from Woodridge College due to yesterday’s fires spent last night in St George’s Prep school hall. Nelson Mandela Bay citizens showered them with food, clothing and other necessities..
Woodridge functions and catering manager Nicolette Olivier thanked St George’s and the citizens of the metro for their donations.
“Within 15 minutes of me putting out the call to St George’s that we need help for our staff, when we arrived here the hall was literally full of mattresses already and people just bringing in donations of food and toiletries and everything” said Olivier. “It was amazing, I have no words actually!”
The donations included a tiny crib which was immediately put to use keeping a baby snug after her family was forced to flee the fire. There were more than a dozen children in the group evacuated yesterday, but by midday the families were being transported back out to the Thornhill Community Centre, closer to their homes at Woodridge.
Olivier said the team at disaster management had warned the workers that it was not yet safe to go back on the property.
“Most of the staff houses are fine but there is no electricity and no water. These are my people, they are the cleaning and workshop staff, so we need to house them until it is safe to go back to the property.”
Elzabe Boshoff, from St George’s College who is assisting St George’s Preparatory School with the logistics, said many of the service staff had been fighting the fires since early morning on Saturday.
“We are trying to get the Woodridge service families back to the community centre so we are packing food packs to get everybody sorted,” she said today.
“We are organising logistic trucks to load up the mattresses and bedding so that we can get them settled in the Thornhill Community Centre.”