Eleanor Thorn and Diane Ferguson from Rotherhithe Residents say #LetVimalStay tell us about the group’s purpose: “Highlighting Vimal’s plight has brought the community together, something which was missing in the Rotherhithe area” #June2022MemberSpotlight
Eleanor Thorn and Diane Ferguson
What’s your job role?
What does your organisation do?
We are a group of local residents who have come together organically, united in our desire to support Vimal Pandya, a member of our community who is facing deportation. During the Covid pandemic and lockdown, Vimal delivered food and essential supplies to the elderly, infirm, vulnerable and ill residents of Rotherhithe. In total, he helped over 50 families. To miss the long queues and in order to access everything they needed he went to the Cash and Cary at 5am in the morning. Items he couldn’t get at the Cash & Carry he would source at various supermarkets. Vimal would then deliver these items, often until very late in the evening, to make sure that everyone had everything they needed. He did not add a premium to these items and just charged what they had cost him.
Vimal put the residents of the Rotherhithe community before any concern for his own health during the dark days of the pandemic. He regularly contacted isolated and lonely residents to proactively offer reassurance and friendship. Many in the wider com
munity learnt of his good deeds on reading in the press about the letter he was sent from the Palace, thanking him for his good work.
Since 4 January, when we learned of Vimal’s plight, we have started a petition https://chng.it/hhQXFtFVN2 Started Crowd funding https://gofund.me/7b8abd62 We have organised a protest outside the Home Office and a March in the Rotherhithe Area.
How does your organisation support and benefit the local community?
Highlighting Vimal’s plight has brought the community together, something which was missing in the Rotherhithe area. Through the activities organised to support Vimal our organisation have shown the Southwark Community how much can be done in such a short time.
What are you working on, is there anything you would like to highlight?
To grow our Petition to 150,000 or more signatures – https://chng.it/hhQXFtFVN2 Crowdfund – https://gofund.me/7b8abd62 Highlight that 18th May is a year since Vimal was arrested by the Border Police at his place of work A forthcoming march, date TBC
A quote from Vimal:
“I’m overwhelmed by all that the community have done for me and very proud to be part of it. I cannot thank them enough for all the love, care and respect I have received from everyone”
How did you hear about Community Southwark?
Jordan Creed, their VCS Social Action and Communities Officer, followed our campaign via Twitter
How has Community Southwark helped you?
They highlighted our campaign under their Social Action action on their website.
Would you recommend Community Southwark to other charities for support?
If yes why?
We are total novices at this type of campaign and activism and their support and advice has been really helpful
How can people get support from your organisation?
We can help with advice on what we have done to grow our petition, crowdfunding and how we organised our march
How can people find out more about what you do?
Contact us on Twitter @letvimalstay Insta letvimalstay or email email@example.com 07595 154601
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